TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – According to the National Institute of Health, 14 million Americans are visually impaired. But many impairments can be corrected by glasses, contacts, and preventative care.
Topeka’s Jory Reedy developed cataracts after battling breast cancer.
“A little over 10 years ago, I was going through chemo and I didn’t realize I would also be having vision problems.”
Dr. Marefat, an ophthalmologist at Cotton O’Neil in Topeka, said all chemo at some level, increases metabolic stress on the human body. Breast cancer chemo specifically does it increase the dryness on the surface of the eye.
“Cataracts are the most common preventable cause of blindness in the world, and cancer is only one way you can develop them.”
Dr. Marefat said as we go through our life, the lenses get wider and thicker and denser because the lenses have gotten so thick, the eye is losing the elasticity that allows it to change the focal point.
Cataracts are just one of many eye impairments people can experience in their lifetime. Two less extreme conditions are dry eyes and itchy allergy eyes. Eye exams are recommended annually for anyone experiencing problems and are crucial as you age. But preventable treatment should always be your first stop. The top 3 things Dr. Marefat recommends for healthy eye care is:
- Don’t use red reducing eye drops – they don’t solve the problem – in fact they tend to magnify it.
- Wash away daily residue and bacteria on the eye lids – with a gentle face wash.
- I you get something in your eye – don’t dig it out! Try flushing it out instead!