Can You Prevent Cataracts from Getting Worse?

Cataracts can have a dramatic impact on your vision, causing cloudiness that harms visual acuity and alters the visual field. Typically, cataracts are a normal part of the aging process. Additionally, they’re reasonably easy to treat should the need arise.  

However, those with cataracts may want to do their part to slow the progression of the condition. While there isn’t a natural cure for cataracts, certain lifestyle practices may make a difference. Here are some approaches that are worth trying.  

Watch Blood Sugar  

Cataracts are more common in individuals with diabetes. Mainly, it’s because high blood pressure can lead to certain eye changes, such as swelling of the lens. By keeping blood sugar under control, those eye changes don’t occur, potentially lowering your risk of developing cataracts.  

In most cases, you should follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding blood sugar management. Along with dietary changes, certain prescription medications may be necessary to maintain blood sugar levels. By adhering to the treatment plan, you’ll have a far easier time keeping everything under control.  

Quit Smoking  

Smoking is associated with a range of health conditions, including a higher occurrence of cataracts. By quitting, you could reduce your risk of developing cataracts early or may be able to slow the overall progression.  

Those who want to quit have a variety of options available. You can speak with your physician about smoking-cessation medications, join smoking-cessation programs, or use over-the-counter products to make the transition easier to manage.  

Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption  

Like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption is tied to a range of health conditions. Generally speaking, consuming more than two alcoholic beverages daily increases a person’s risk of cataracts. Since that’s the case, limiting your consumption can potentially make a difference.  

It’s critical to point out that serving sizes of alcohol are far smaller than most people expect. “Standard” drinks are based on alcohol levels, not beverage volumes. Based on average alcohol percentages, a serving includes 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. However, drinks with higher-than-average alcohol contents may actually count for two or more servings, so keep that in mind.  

Eat Nutritious Foods  

A diet rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E helps support good eye health. By ensuring your diet is balanced and chocked full of critical vitamins and minerals, you may reduce your odds of developing cataracts.  

Wear UV-Blocking Sunglasses  

UV rays can damage the eyes, even if the sun isn’t shining brightly. By wearing UV-blocking sunglasses, you prevent those harmful rays from reaching your eyes, ensuring they don’t cause damage or accelerate the development of certain eye conditions. Just make sure they’re rated for UV-A and UV-B rays, as broad-spectrum protection is a far better approach.  

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patient’s eyes are our priority. If you are experiencing symptoms of cataracts or progressing cataracts, or simply haven’t seen your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Is Lasik Surgery Safe? What You Need to Know 

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis – also known as LASIK – is a popular outpatient procedure for treating nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Millions of people have chosen to use LASIK to correct their vision, allowing them to see more clearly without glasses or contact lenses.  

However, while LASIK has been around for decades, many people wonder, is LASIK surgery safe? While the procedure has an excellent track record overall, as with all surgical procedures, there are risks. Here’s what you need to know.  

LASIK and Patient Outcomes  

Overall, LASIK is one of the most studied elective surgeries, with ample data being collected about patient outcomes, satisfaction rates, and more. Overall, patient satisfaction reached 98 percent in a recent study, with nearly all patients achieving 20/40 vision and over 90 percent reaching 20/20.  

Additionally, safety procedures surrounding LASIK surgery have also improved over the years. Eye care providers are far more stringent regarding patient selection, ensuring those who potentially undergo the procedure and legitimately good candidates. Further, processes for optimizing the approach to the patient have also advanced, leading to better results.  

However, that doesn’t mean side effects aren’t possible, including some that can significantly impact visual acuity or quality of life. While they’re broadly considered rare, patients should be aware of these potential outcomes, allowing them to make wise choices about their future and health.  

Potential Side Effects of LASIK  

The potential side effects of LASIK range from mildly inconvenient to highly impactful to daily life. Some of the more common adverse outcomes are fairly simple and generally easy to manage. For example, dry eyes can occur, which may make eye drops or similar treatment options a must long-term. Glare, halos, and diminished night vision also happen, though the degree can vary.  

With those side effects, they may be temporary or long-term. The healing process after LASIK can take up to a year, so some patients might initially struggle with issues like dry eye only to see the problem diminish over the coming weeks or months. However, others may experience the issue permanently.  

When it comes to more serious side effects, eye infections, vision loss, retinal detachment, and chronic pain may all occur. Overall, these outcomes aren’t common, particularly among those without certain risk factors, like a pre-existing autoimmune condition, persistent dry eyes, or certain kinds of inflammation. However, if they do occur, the impact may be irreversible.  

Since there are risks to LASIK, choosing an eye care provider you trust to handle the procedure is essential. Seek out an experienced surgeon, ask questions about outcomes, and ensure you’re fully apprised of the possible results, both positive and negative. By doing so, you can make wiser decisions about your vision and health, ensuring you don’t move forward only partially informed and feel confident about your odds of an excellent outcome.  

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patient’s eyes are our priority. If you are considering LASIK surgery or simply haven’t seen your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today. 

Cataract Surgery Success Rate

Cataract surgery is among the most common types of surgery. While it was once an inpatient procedure requiring general anesthesia, it can now be performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. This approach is more convenient, safer, and less expensive, and cataract surgery success rates have never been higher. Traditionally, cataract surgery has been performed with a scalpel, but lasers are increasingly used. Patients report little pain and a quick recovery in most cases. Cataract surgery success rates are very high, reportedly 97-98%, according to recent studies, and few complications are encountered.  

Who Performs Cataract Surgery?

If you’re looking for an eye doctor for cataracts, ophthalmologists are the specialists who perform this type of surgery. If you’ve never had eye surgery before, your eye care has most likely been managed by optometrists or opticians. Optometrists are licensed professionals who can perform eye examinations and diagnose and treat some conditions, but they are not medical doctors. Conditions that require surgery, such as cataracts, must be referred to an ophthalmologist. If you have glasses or contacts, you’ll know your optician as the helpful person who ensures they fit correctly. 

What are the Risks of Cataract Surgery?

Any surgery comes with a degree of risk, but cataract surgery complications are rare and seldom serious. All long as the patient follows the post-operative instructions their ophthalmologist gives them, the chances they will experience any side effects are low. There are three serious potential issues to be aware of: retinal detachment, swelling of the eye and eye infection. Familiarize yourself with the following symptoms and report any occurrences to your ophthalmologist immediately. While these cataract surgery complications are serious if ignored, prompt treatment can keep you and your vision healthy. 

Retinal Detachment

Cataract surgery has been shown to cause a slightly increased risk of retinal detachment. For patients with other eye disorders, such as high myopia – a rare type of severe nearsightedness – the risk of retinal detachment is even higher. Left untreated, it can lead to permanent vision loss. 

Retinal detachment is usually painless. The symptoms you are likely to notice are a sudden increase in floaters or flashes of light. Floaters are just what they sound like – little specks that seem to float around in your vision. If you notice these symptoms, don’t take a nap or wait to see if they clear up on their own, contact your doctor immediately, even if they occur after hours. The sooner retinal detachment is treated, the better the chances of preserving some or all of your vision. 

Swelling of the Eye

Some post-surgical swelling of the eye is not unusual. It can increase during the first 24 hours after surgery. It can be alarming to notice that your vision was better immediately right after surgery than a day later. Chances are, the swelling will go down on its own, but if it’s severe and not dissipating as your instructions indicated that it would, don’t hesitate to contact the ophthalmologist who performed your cataract surgery. They may tell you to use your steroid eye drops more frequently or prescribe something different or more potent. 

Eye Infection

Preventing eye infection often comes down to meticulous hygiene. Your ophthalmologist will do their part by prescribing antibiotic drops for you to begin using before surgery and continue afterward. You can do your part by using the drops as prescribed and washing your hands well with soap before using the drops or touching the eye area. Also, take care not to touch the surface of your eye or your eyelashes with the dropper.  

Is Cataract Surgery Always Successful?

While the cataract surgery success rate is high, it’s not 100%. It’s possible for your vision to be worse than before the surgery or blurry. Typically, this is due to issues such as waiting too long to have cataract surgery performed, which can lead to difficulties with the surgery.  

Can Cataracts Come Back After Surgery?

Once cataracts are removed, they cannot grow back, but a new one can form. These secondary cataracts are called posterior capsular opacification(PCO). Secondary cataract symptoms take months or years to develop and are becoming rarer as technology has advanced. Reasons for an increased risk of PCO include age (secondary cataract symptoms are more common among younger patients), diabetes, uveitis, myotonic dystrophy, and retinitis pigmentosa. Cataracts caused by injury are more likely to lead to secondary contact symptoms. 

Secondary cataract symptoms to watch for include blurry vision, glare or halos from headlights and issues with vision such as trouble reading, driving, watching television and sometimes difficulty with color perception. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your cataract ophthalmologist.  

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Cataract Surgery?

After cataract surgery, most people can go back to work and resume other daily activities in a couple of days. Full recovery can take as long as eight weeks and your vision should stabilize within 3-6 weeks. The closer you follow the instructions of your ophthalmologist, the better your chance of being a cataract surgery success story.  

What Should You Look For in a Cataract Surgeon in Buffalo? 

When you’re trusting someone with your vision, you want an ophthalmologist you can trust. Look for a surgeon specializing in cataract surgery and up to date on the latest studies and technologies. Look for reviews and recommendations and review the credentials and experience of any cataract surgeon you consider. Be sure to ask your surgeon relevant questions such as how many surgeries they have performed and their cataract surgery success rate. 

Credentials of a Cataract Surgeon

Your surgeon should be board certified in ophthalmology if they have the training and skills required to perform cataract surgery successfully. You should also check that the doctor has no malpractice suits or disciplinary actions on their record. is a good source for conducting this research.  


Even though cataract surgery is relatively simple and risk-free, you don’t want to put your eyesight in the hands of someone who doesn’t have plenty of experience. Surgery performed by an ophthalmologist with plenty of experience increases the chances of successful cataract surgery. A doctor who has performed the surgery many times before will know exactly what to watch for. 

Choosing the Right Cataract Surgeon in Buffalo

If you have been identified as a candidate for cataract surgery, you may wonder what the next step is. If an optometrist diagnosed you, they may refer you to a specific ophthalmologist, or provide you with a list to choose from. If they did not refer you, there are several ways to find qualified cataract ophthalmologists in Buffalo. If you have friends or family who have undergone cataract surgery, they may be able to provide recommendations for cataract eye doctors in Buffalo. If not, your insurance company may be able to help, or you can request referrals from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.  

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patient’s eyes and vision are our priority. That’s why we encourage you to watch for early signs of cataracts and see your eye doctor regularly. If you are experiencing vision changes or haven’t seen your eye care provider in the past year, schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.