Cataracts: Does Early Detection Matter?

Many people have heard the term “cataract.” This is because cataracts account for most of the vision impairment that occurs in this country. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has estimated that approximately one-quarter of adults over the age of 40 are in some stage of cataract development. That statistic is doubled in the 75-and-up age group.

Cataracts form because, as we age, the crystalline lens of the eye begins to turn yellow. This once-flexible structure also becomes increasingly rigid. As a result, vision loses its crispness and color. People with cataracts may struggle to see at night and may feel that their vision becomes blurry over time. It is known that cataracts are a progressive problem; that, at some point, most people with cataracts will need to have them removed. So, does it matter when cataracts are removed or when the signs of this shift in the lens of the eye is caught? It might.

What Early Cataracts Look Like

  • Initially, cataracts do not affect the entire field of vision. What usually happens first is that fuzzy spots appear. These start out small and grow larger over time.
  • Light sensitivity. Bright lights become increasingly irritating to the eye that has a hardening lens.
  • Decreasing night vision. Early stage cataracts can cause visual dimming that is more obvious at night.
  • Glare and halos. These visual disturbances may pass through the visual field when light is diffracted by the hardening lens, causing halos around light sources. This is usually more noticeable at night.

Why Early Detection Matters

We know that cataracts only get worse over time and will eventually need to be removed. Cataract removal surgery replaces the natural lens of the eye with a synthetic lens. While treatment is beneficial, there is value in recognizing the early signs of cataracts. Studies suggest that there are a few steps a person can take to slow the progression of changes to the affected lens. These include:

  • Eating an eye-healthy diet, which is filled with nuts, leafy greens, citrus fruits, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Protecting the eyes with sunglasses and hats. The ultraviolet radiation in sunlight degrades collagen in the eyes, speeding up the ocular aging process.
  • Undergo regular eye exams and discuss current medications with an experienced eye doctor. Some medications can speed up cataract progression. Annual eye exams are the best way to detect and monitor the progression of cataracts.

Learn more about cataracts. Call our Amarillo office at (806) 351-1177 to schedule a consultation and thorough eye exam.

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Panhandle Eye Group Subspecialists

7411 Wallace Blvd
Amarillo, TX 79106

Amarillo Cataract & Eye Surgery Center

7310 Fleming Ave
Amarillo, TX 79106

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This is the latest IOL for Dr. Murrell's cataract practice. The LAL is the first IOL that can be adjusted after the surgery. Dr. Murrell can customize your IOL so that you can have the vision that you desire.

The LAL is a premium IOL which will not be covered under your medical insurance hence will have to pay for this IOL.


What's coming to Dr. Murrell's practice in the next few months.
Embrace with Accutite and Facetite and Morpheus Prime and Morpheus8

Accutite and Facetite: - These are FDA approved cosmetic devices that can melt fat and mildly tighten skin. It requires only a small opening in the skin. The Accutite is for small areas such as the upper and lower eyelids. The Facetite is for the larger areas of the face such as the jowls, neck, and nasolabial folds.

Morpheus Prime and Morpheus 8 - These are FDA approved cosmetic devices that are applied to the skin to tighten the skin and collagen underneath the skin. The Morpheus Prime is for smaller areas smaller areas such as the upper and lower eyelids. the Morpheus8 is for the larger areas of the face. Both Morpheus Prime and Morpheus 8 takes 3 treatments spaced 4 weeks apart from each other.

The Accutite and Morpheus Prime can both be performed to the eyelids to maximize the cosmetic effect. Likewise, the Facetite and Morpheus8 can both be performed to maximize the cosmetic effect.

The Embrace is the device that rungs the Accutite, Facetite, Morpheus8, and Morpheus Prime. These treatments are not covered by insurance. The patient will have to pay for the procedure.

What's New in Dr. Murrell Practice in 2023

Light adjustable IOl (LAL) for Cataract Patients

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