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Sunday, March 10, 2013

" Americans are going blind..." 'Judith Whitehead" (Inspiration Sunday)

"Guest-blogger Judith Whitehead lives in Amherst N.Y. and has worked in the
 ophthalmology field of medicine for over 30 years..." 
Today she talks about what else? Her favorite  subject of expertise and  pride, eye care... Enjoy!


   
  Americans are going blind from preventable and treatable eye conditions


We live in a country of opportunity and medical advances and yet I see every day working in the medical
field patients that are going or that have gone blind for no reason other than neglect and ignorance.
There are many eye diseases one can get that I am  witness to working in the field of ophthalmology  but
there are also several that can be treated and cured with some simple prevention and treatment.

There is no reason for anyone to go blind in this country from cataracts; we see this all the time in third
world countries that do not have medical care but today in this country it is totally unnecessary .
Cataract surgery has become a streamlined procedure that takes only 10-20 minutes to perform in an
out-patient setting with local sedation and yet every day I see people that have let their cataracts
become dark and rock hard.  A cataract is the clouding of the eyes natural lens and will totally block all
light entering the eye if left untreated.  During cataract surgery the natural lens is removed and replaced
with an implant lens that restores, in most cases, the eyes total vision.  Sometimes there are underlying
factors that prevent full restoration of the vision but in most cases vision is restored and improved the
very day of surgery.  It is a painless procedure that is done with ease and there is no reason to fear it in
this day and age in America.

Glaucoma is another eye disease that if gone untreated with take all the peripheral vision until a tunnel of vision is left.  It is totally treatable and goes undetected because it is for the most part painless and insidious.  Unfortunately, after the vision is impaired treatment can only prevent it from further progression; whatever is lost to glaucoma can’t be recovered only prevented.

 Macular degenerationis a disease that occurs for most people after middle age and also can be detected in its early stages.
There are two types of the disease that come in wet and dry varieties.  The wet type which are leaking
blood vessels in the back of the eye have treatments available today that are in- office procedures and
will halt the disease; of course early detection gives someone their best chance for vision restoration.
Many general ophthalmologists and retinal specialists do these procedures every day which  are also
painless in-office procedures.

It is hard to believe that we still see these and other causes for blindness in this land of medical
advances and opportunities.  One of the biggest reasons for this is fear; fear of the unknown causes
people to put off treatment and detection.  A simple eye evaluation takes about 20 minutes and can
save one of the most important senses we have.  In Buffalo alone we have over 80 practicing
Ophthalmologists available to us; take advantage of their skills and expertise and save your vision today

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