Health Team

Surgery, procedures can correct common vision problems

Posted April 30, 2015

As a person ages, vision problems are common and can usually be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. But two problems may require special attention, especially with senior citizens.

About 10 years ago, WRAL's David Crabtree had LASIK vision correction surgery.

"Now it is to the point where (David) is developing a cataract, which is a clouding of the crystalline lens that's inside the eye," Duke ophthalmologist Dr. Alan Carlson said.

Cataracts cloud vision but before addressing the problem, Carlson advised therapy for dry eye.

He said dry eye is a common problem, even at a young age.

"We don't blink as much," Carlson said. "We're looking at our cell phones, the computers - there is a condition called computer vision syndrome."

Lipiflow, a 12-minute therapy, gently warms and massages the blocked coil shaped glands.

"It is similar to taking butter out of the refrigerator. Heat it and there is a lot more liquid," Carlson said.

A few weeks later, Lipiflow's results help Carlson get a more precise measurement for laser cataract surgery.

Standard cataract surgery is done with a small knife and a surgeon's steady hand. Laser cataract incisions, controlled by a computer, is a more precise procedure.

"If I were to draw my best circle, but then have a computer draw it next to my circle, you could see the precision that the computer was able to bring to that procedure," Carlson said.

According to Dr. Carlson, the incisions are stronger and less likely to leak. There’s also less chance of infection.

After the incisions, an artificial lens replaces the old cataract.


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