Living Well at Robson Ranch Cataract Confidential seminar

Marie Milleage

Dr. Russell Snook’s eye-opening presentation at the June 1 Living Well seminar was a straightforward explanation of current cataract surgery options as he noted, “Which are useful and which are not worth spending your children’s inheritance.”

As one ages, several vision conditions that are common and can be corrected easily and safely include cataracts, astigmatism and presbyopia. Dr. Snook advised that cataract formation is aided by smoking, diabetes, and poor health. However, he added, “A healthy diet slows down cataract development.”

Cataracts are caused by proteins clumping together inside the eye’s natural lens, causing it to become cloudy and discolored. Individuals from their mid-40s to their mid-60s experience the eye’s inability to switch between focusing on nearby and distant objects, with the lens gradually stiffening and becoming inflexible. This condition is known as presbyopia. Astigmatism is the cornea’s oblong shape in which the cornea bends or refracts light rays producing unfocused, less sharp and blurry images.

Cataract surgeries are performed to correct vision by removing the eye’s natural, clouded lens and permanently replacing it with an implanted artificial lens. Dr. Snook discussed the choice of laser or conventional, manual eye surgery. The surgeon’s advantage in using laser treatment is the reduction in ultrasound energy, fewer surgical movements and incisions that are always exactly the same. The disadvantages to the patient are the additional $1,500 or more cost than traditional surgery, and insurance companies may regard laser eye surgery as elective or cosmetic, not medically necessary. Dr. Snook revealed that the patient’s visual results are the same whether the surgery is by laser or manually.

Dr. Snook described several intraocular lens implant (IOL) options. Crystalens is a premium lens that corrects presbyopia by adjusting focus and improving near vision. Monofocal lens replaces the eye’s natural lens and provides sharper distance vision. A special monofocal lens provides better distance vision and corrects astigmatism. With both types of monofocal lenses, the patient may still need eyeglasses. Multifocal lens provides sharper distance vision in all lighting conditions and corrects presbyopia as well.

New technologies in use are “dropless injections,” the implantation postoperatively of antibiotics where bacteria grow in the eye and “chromatic aberration lens” that corrects the failure to coordinate all colors seen by the two eyes and focus at the same convergence point.

DATCU credit union provided seminar refreshments and door prizes. Living Well seminars are free and open to Robson Ranch residents. For more information contact Marie Milleage at [email protected] or go to

All content within presentations sponsored by the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee is intended for general information only. It should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a professional health care provider. Neither the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee, Robson Ranch Denton HOA, nor Robson Communities is responsible or liable for the content and do not endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised in any presentation.