Both cataracts and glaucoma are largely age-related conditions, and their co-occurrence is fairly common. If you have both conditions, it becomes a balancing act to figure out what's best for the health of your eye, your vision, and your comfort. As a glaucoma specialist, Daniel Krivoy, MD, works diligently to help his patients find the ideal solution, which may include surgical procedures to address the glaucoma and remove the cataracts at the same time. To learn more, call the office in Los Angeles, California.
Cataracts aren’t harmful, but they can interfere with your vision as you grow older. In fact, by age 80, more than half of Americans either have some degree of cataracts, or they’ve had surgery for cataracts.
Cataracts affect the lens in your eye, which is located behind your iris and pupil. Your lens is largely made up of water and protein, but as you age, the protein may clump together, interfering with how light passes through your lens.
Small cataracts are generally harmless and don’t pose any restrictive vision problems. As the protein clumps grow larger, however, they can severely cloud your lens and greatly affect your vision.
The simple answer is that they don't have any effect on one another, but they often exist side by side. Glaucoma is a fairly common condition that is characterized by abnormal intraocular pressure caused by drainage problems in your eyes. Over time, this added pressure causes damage to your optic nerve.
While your eyes may be rather small in size, these two conditions -- cataracts and glaucoma -- affect entirely different areas in your eyes. They both can have a significant impact on your vision though.
There's no easy answer to this question, as it depends upon the extent of each condition. Odds are you're seeing Dr. Krivoy for glaucoma-related issues, and he has a good handle on your situation in that regard. But if cataracts are creeping in and undoing all the fine work that you and Dr. Krivoy have accomplished in preserving your vision, there may come a time when both need to be addressed.
One of the simplest ways to address problematic cataracts is through a surgery to remove the cataract and replace the lens. In fact, cataract removal is one the most common surgical procedures in the United States, and it boasts an impressive 90% success rate.
Depending upon your situation, Dr. Krivoy is able to perform this procedure in conjunction with a glaucoma procedure, but a lot depends upon the extent of your glaucoma, what medications you’re taking, and how advanced the cataract is.
To find out whether you’re a candidate for both glaucoma and cataract surgery, call Daniel Krivoy, MD, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.