Dr. Hitesh K. Patel on modern cataract diagnosis and treatment.

Leading ophthalmologist says that patients must be their own best advocates when cataracts are diagnosed
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June 18, 2010 - PRLog -- Edison, NJ - With the aging of the population, the number of people each year who develop cataracts is on the rise. Fortunately, newer methods used in diagnosis and treatment can restore clear vision with minimal downtime or discomfort.

According to Edison, N.J. ophthalmologist Dr. Hitesh K. Patel, the decision to undergo cataract surgery is often a lifestyle decision, which should be done when a patient’s vision can no longer adequately allow them to function properly. Contrary to popular belief and according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s preferred practice patterns, the decision to remove cataracts is not based on a specific level of visual acuity.

Dr. Patel performs the latest, state-of-the-art cataract surgeries: small incision, sutureless, with multifocal and toric lens implants, and “limbal relaxing incisions”. Limbal relaxing incisions (LRI) are a modification in the shape of your cornea used to treat astigmatism. Astigmatism is present when the cornea is not perfectly round, resulting in one portion of your eye having more of a prescription than another portion. A cornea with astigmatism is shaped more like a football rather than basketball. LRI’s are incisions that are placed on the far outer edge of the cornea (the limbus), resulting in a cornea that is more round resulting in your uncorrected vision being improved.

The procedure can be completed in a few seconds after numbing the eye with anesthetic drops. Limbal relaxing incisions have gained widespread acceptance amongst cataract surgeons where it is often combined with the cataract operation to reduce pre-existing astigmatism. The incisions can be done as part of cataract surgery or at any time after. This results in better post-operative vision without glasses.

Unlike many ophthalmologists, Dr. Patel performs the full range of multifocal lens implants.

Don’t ignore the glare.
Dr. Patel says that in order to properly diagnose and treat cataracts in a patient who has difficulty with glare or vision, the doctor must perform glare or contrast sensitivity testing, and the results are often different from results shown in regular visual acuity tests. Glare testing tests vision in different lighting conditions that patients would experience throughout the day in their everyday lives. Contrast sensitivity testing gives a better measurement of overall visual function then regular visual acuity testing. Functional vision is what’s important, and that can be best measured by either one of these two tests.

Patients who feel that their vision is not allowing them to function properly need to act in their best interests when dealing with their insurance company or any government agency. Because some insurers and agencies may rely on the results of incomplete tests, some patients may be wrongfully denied coverage.

“Choose an ophthalmologist whom you feel is looking after your vision needs. No insurer or agency should deny clear vision to a patient who suffers from impaired vision due to cataracts”, say Dr. Patel.

For information, visit www.pateleyeassociates.com or call 732.985.5009
Source:Gary Grasso
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