Dr. Robert Maloney believes that a well-informed patient is key to successful vision correction surgery. He wants to be sure that you fully understand what you can expect from your procedure you choose. He wants to help you care for and preserve your eyesight in the best way possible. Here, you can find the information that you need to help you make informed choices about health care for your eyes.

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In cataracts' early stages, getting stronger glasses or contacts and using a magnifying glass, a page magnifier, or better lighting can help you see more clearly. The American Foundation for the Blind recommends the following light sources for people with cataracts:

Sunlight-but use proper eye protection if outside, and use window treatments if inside. Wear a hat with a visor or ultraviolet-filtering sunglasses outdoors. Indoors, reduce glare by sitting with your back to the window and by using window tinting, lattices, adjustable blinds, or sheer curtains.

Full-spectrum or warm fluorescent bulbs can produce strong light and have several advantages over incandescent lights: They don't burn as hot, they don't create shadows, they last longer, and they use less energy. Many stores that sell fluorescent bulbs take back the burned-out ones for proper disposal. Call your local recycling center for information on how to dispose of regular and compact fluorescent bulbs.

Incandescent bulbs have few advantages, now that miniature fluorescents are available for lamps. Incandescents do emit steady, constant light, whereas fluorescent bulbs may flicker, especially when they are about to burn out, and the flickering might be bothersome for some people with cataracts. If you're buying incandescent bulbs, look for those labeled "full-spectrum," which simulate natural sunlight.

Halogen bulbs are more energy efficient than incandescents, but they burn hotter. There is some evidence that the amount of blue light that halogen bulbs produce can be harmful to the eyes, and they pose slightly more fire danger than other bulbs.

Experiment with a mix of different types of bulbs to see what works best for you.

Though cataracts are considered a normal consequence of aging, certain lifestyle, environmental, and health factors can cause cataracts to develop earlier-and in different parts of the lens-for some people than for others. We'll examine these factors in the next chapter.

Causes And Risk Factors

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