Q: What is a cataract?
A: A cataract is the clouding of the lens inside the eye. Normally the lens, which is the focusing part of the eye, is crystal clear. However, when it becomes cloudy or discolored, this is known as a cataract. Cataracts block the passage of light through the eye and cause a person’s vision to become dim and fuzzy.
Q: What causes cataracts?
A: Cataracts are usually caused by the normal aging process. Much like wrinkles and gray hair, most people will develop them if they live long enough. However in less common instances, cataracts may result from injuries, infections, some drugs, and some diseases, such as diabetes.
Q: How are cataracts treated?
A: At present, the only way to restore visual loss from a cataract is surgical removal of the cloudy lens. Fortunately, with today’s modern techniques, cataract surgery has become one of the most effective, common, and safest operations performed today. The nationwide success rate for cataract surgery is over 95% and our own internal quality assurance studies have indicated that our success rate is even higher. The Center for Sight Naples has been on the leading edge of cataract surgery technology since 1970 and is now performing the latest advanced no-stitch cataract surgery with no needle and no patch.
Q: Can a cataract ever grow back?
A: No. Once the cloudy lens has been removed, it cannot grow back. The cataract is replaced by an artificial lens called an intraocular lens; however, in a certain percentage of people who have cataract surgery, the thin membrane behind the artificial lens will become cloudy, reducing vision. This condition is called a secondary cataract or an after cataract. The good news is that this is very easy to correct by use of an ophthalmic laser. This painless procedure usually takes less than five minutes and is done right in the office.
Q: What is glaucoma?
A: Glaucoma is a fairly common eye disease which is a leading cause of blindness, especially when not diagnosed early and treated regularly. Glaucoma is known as the “sneak thief of sight” because extensive irreparable damage can be done to a person’s sight before they notice that anything is wrong. The most common types of glaucoma cause no pain and changes usually occur so slowly and subtly at first that they are not noticed until they are far advanced.
Q: What causes glaucoma?
A: Glaucoma is caused by a build-up of pressure in the eye which can damage the nerve cells in the back of the eye. Aqueous humor, a clear liquid, continually flows through the inner eye. When the drainage system through which this liquid flows becomes either partly or completely blocked, the aqueous humor backs up, putting pressure on the delicate nerve cells and fibers on the back of the eye. As their blood supply is reduced, gradually the nerves are destroyed and lose their ability to send visual images to the brain. Side vision is usually affected first.
Q: Can glaucoma damage be reversed?
A: Damage caused by glaucoma to the nerve cells and fibers cannot be reversed. This is why it is important to diagnose and begin treatment for this disease early. Blindness can almost always be prevented if the disease is diagnosed early and treated regularly.
Q: What are the risk factors for glaucoma?
A: Although anyone can get glaucoma, the risk of developing glaucoma increases with age. It usually occurs in people over 35 years of age. People at a higher risk include people who have a blood relative with glaucoma, diabetics, and African Americans.
Q: How is glaucoma treated?
A: Although the most common form of glaucoma cannot be cured, it can usually be controlled. The first line of defense is usually eye drops or pills. This treatment works for the majority of patients; however, they can lose their effectiveness over time or may cause side effects. In this case, laser treatment is usually performed to open up the drainage within the eye. This is a simple, painless operation performed in the office. However, in rare cases, usually when all other options have been exhausted, surgery may be performed to make a new drainage system in the eye. The Center for Sight Naples has more experience with glaucoma than anyone else in Collier County.
Accreditation’s & Certifications
Q: What does it mean to be AAAHC Accredited?
A: AAAHC stands for Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc. AAAHC is an organization which performs inspections on outpatient surgery facilities who request accreditation. AAAHC is widely respected in the medical community for having the highest quality standards for accreditation of outpatient surgery facilities. The Center for Sight Naples has not only consistently received accreditation by AAAHC each time we have been inspected, but they were so impressed the first time, that they asked Dr. Montgomery to become an inspector.
Q: What is JCAHPO certification?
A: The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) is the certifying agency for ophthalmic medical personnel. It serves to enhance the quality and availability of ophthalmic patient care by providing certification and continuing education of health personnel. Certification demonstrates that a standard of excellence has been achieved and is proof of having fulfilled certain requirements of academic and clinical education and of having successfully completed the appropriate examinations, conducted under the authority of JCAHPO.