WHAT IS A CATARACT?
There are many misconceptions about cataracts. It is not a film over the eye. It is not caused by straining the eye, and is not spread from one eye to the other. When the natural lens of the eye turns from clear to cloudy, it is called a cataract. Because light cannot readily pass through the clouded lens, vision is impaired. This is most commonly related to the aging of the eye, but other contributing factors can be: heredity, diabetes and other medical conditions, eye injuries or surgery, medication, or long term UV light exposure. A person with cataracts may experience blurring of vision, double vision, sensitivity to light, poor night vision, fading of colors, or the need for frequent prescription changes in their glasses.
HOW ARE CATARACTS TREATED?
The only way an ophthalmologist can treat cataracts is to surgically remove them. Cataract surgery should be performed when the vision impairment has progressed to the point that it interferes with normal daily activities.
Only an Eye M.D. has the training to remove cataracts. Dr. Ranz takes special interest in the treatment of cataracts. In addition to being a Board Certified Ophthalmologist with over 13 years of surgical experience, he spends considerable time going to meetings each year to stay current with the latest developments in cataract microsurgery.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, performed under topical anesthesia. It is usually performed without the use of stitches! The incision, as small as 1/8 inch, is made at an angle, allowing it to seal on its own. The cloudy lens is removed by ultrasound waves and suction in a procedure called phacoemulsification. An artificial lens is then implanted in place of the original lens. This is called the “implant”. Dr. Ranz uses the latest technology in intraocular lenses, including specialty lenses to correct astigmatism and bifocal implants. This ensures that patients will achieve their best possible vision after cataract surgery. Over 2 million people have cataract surgery each year in the USA, making it an “everyday miracle”.
Dr. Ranz has been doing blepharoplasty (eyelid plastic surgery) for bags and wrinkles since 1989. As an eye surgeon, he has had extensive training in all areas of eye surgery, but has had a special interest in eye plastics since becoming an Eye M.D. After several years of doing upper and lower blepharoplasties, Dr. Ranz noticed that patients would come back for their check-ups and say “My eyes look great, but what about these other wrinkles and these pigment spots?”
Eventually, Dr. Ranz decided to offer laser resurfacing to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; first on crows feet and under the eyes, and then on other areas of the face. This procedure has dramatic results, but requires a fair amount of “down time” while the fresh and new skin grows.
Also around this time, Dr. Ranz discovered the Obagi NuDerm system, designed by Zane Obagi, a dermatologist in Beverly Hills. This system offers several skin products, available only through a medical doctor, which enhance skin health and slow the aging process. The day to day skin care line is designed to exfoliate, can be used in conjunction with Retin A, and has a product called “Clear” to smooth skin tones and fade age spots and other unwanted irregular pigment. The power house of this system is the “Blue Peel”, which is a chemical peel requiring a little “down time” but gives great results, costs less than laser resurfacing, and is very safe.
Another skin line available only through a medical doctor is Physician’s Choice. This line offers light chemical peels with short recovery times, such as Jessner, Pumpkin, and Oxygenating Peels. These may cause temporary redness and flakiness, but you will be glowing within a day or two.
Another peel option we are pleased to offer is Microdermabrasion. This system shoots fine crystals that exfoliate the skin and then are suctioned up and discarded. It is minimally uncomfortable, but results in the softening of fine lines and smoothing of skin tones. The recovery period is about five minutes.
Botox is another popular product available at Stones River Eye Center. This is refined botulinum toxin that is injected to temporarily paralyze facial muscles. This can be used to relax frown lines, forehead wrinkles, and crows feet, resulting in the appearance of smoother skin.
Products and services offered:
- Blue Peel
- Laser skin resurfacing
- Obagi NuDerm
- Physicians Choice
Please call our office if you would like further information about any of these products or services. We have something for every skin type and budget.
This section is currently being edited.
Please check back soon for detailed information about our VISION CORRECTING PROCEDURES, including:
- Clear Lens Extraction
- Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK)
- Intraocular Contact Lenses (ICL)