Cataract and Cataract Surgery Book Site: http://cataract-book.com
Credit and Video Source: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/12/30/socal-board-certified-eye-surgeon-discusses-new-book/
Kaj Goldberg: We are joined this morning by doctor David Richardson. He’s a Southern California board-certified eye surgeon specializing in treatment of cataracts and glaucoma.
Amy Johnson: Dr. Richardson is here to talk about his new book, “So You’ve Got A Cataract? What You Need to Know About Cataract Surgery | A Patient’s Guide to Modern Eye Surgery, Advanced Intraocular Lenses & Choosing Your Surgeon.” Thanks so much for joining us.
Amy Johnson: You know there’s so many misconceptions, can you tell us what is cataracts and what really are the symptoms?
Dr. David Richardson: Yes. Cataracts is actually a natural process that occurs as we age. It’s something that if we’re fortunate enough to live long enough, we’re all going to get and the good news is that there is a wonderful treatment for cataracts.
Dr. David Richardson: The symptoms of cataracts, generally, include: blurred vision, glare or halos around lights (especially these newer brighter lights that we have on the freeways), difficulty reading and loss of saturation in colors – so, blues become more of a yellow and you just lose a bit of the vibrancy.
Dr. David Richardson: When the symptoms get to the point that – once what we call activities of daily living are affected, and that includes reading, driving, could be golf! You get to decide – then it’s time to consider treatment for cataracts. And if glasses alone or contacts do not get the vision to the point that it needs to be for the individual then cataract surgery would be the next step.
Kaj Goldberg: And doctor is that a painful procedure?
Dr. David Richardson: Oh no. Cataract surgery with the modern techniques should be painless. In fact, many people view it is as an interesting experience. It is done under local anaesthetic and many people are awake, relaxed during the surgery and notice interesting colors shapes pattern some describe it as almost a psychedelic pleasant experience. But, really it should not be painful. No.
Amy Johnson: But, how do you know that you’re going to the right surgeon? how do you choose a surgeon to do this?
Dr. David Richardson: It’s a very good question. I actually dedicated a chapter in my book to that issue. And two (2) key concepts that I think are worth considering is 1) to recognize that just because a surgeon is on your panel in the insurance doesn’t mean that that surgeon is the best surgeon for you. It’s important to actually do your own research. Find out how many cataract surgeries has that particular surgeon done. Inquire. I find that asking nurses in the surgery center particularly good resource because they know who has good hands so to speak. Then, something that’s not utilized nearly as much as I think it should be is 2) getting a second opinion. We all inquire among our friends when we’re going to buy a TV set, right? but when it comes to surgery, which, I think, we can all agree, is more important than what brand of TV you have. We tend to just take the first surgeon that we interact with, who could be the right surgeon for you, but it’s an assumption and one that should be backed by personal research.
Kaj Goldberg: And a very important part of one’s body to deal with…
Dr. David Richardson: Very. Yes.
Kaj Goldberg: Myths? I’ve heard you can eat a certain food and it’ll help, you know, eliminate the cataracts. Talk about myths. There’s a lot of money that has been made on these alternative cures for cataracts.
Dr. David Richardson: To date, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that any of the supplements, drops or exercises actually work. The only thing that’s been proven to address cataracts is cataract surgery.
Amy Johnson: But what about preventing it? Is there anything that we can do, you know, a lot of us are looking at computer screens a lot. We’re looking at our phones. Is there anything that we can do to hopefullly prevent it from happening?
Dr. David Richardson: There is some evidence that exposure to ultraviolet light advances the progression of cataracts. So, wearing sunglasses or hats when you’re outside – sunglasses with ultraviolet protection, avoiding things such as smoking which, can also worsen cataracts, making certain that your general health is good. Diet and exercise do not directly impact cataract formation but indirectly through things such as diabetes which can be associated with cataracts. So, if you keep yourself healthy there’s the chance that you can help push the cataracts down the line not avoid it entirely again, but push it down the line. And then, of course, choosing your parents well.
Amy Johnson: That’s easy, right? And your book- we understand, all the proceeds are going to help with research?
Dr. David Richardson: Yes, that’s correct. So, I wrote this book primarily for my own patients and then realized that others could benefit from that. So it’s just a natural step for me to decide to go ahead and and give the proceeds to charities that are involved in treating eye diseases.
Amy Johnson: Again, the book is called, “So, You’ve Got A Cataract?” For more information go to our website http://kcal9.com and click “seen on tv”.
Kaj Goldberg: Doctor David Richardson, thank you so much for joining us this morning.
Amy Johnson: Helpful information.
Dr. David Richardson: Thank You.
Kaj Goldberg: Excellent.
KCAL9: It’s a minimally invasive procedure, reduces the infection and bleeding. With us today, Dr. David Richardson, who’ll explain more about this breakthrough surgery and what it’s all about. Thanks for being with us.
Dr. David Richardson: Well, thank you. Good afternoon.
KCAL9: First of all, what is Glaucoma? What happens in your eye when you have it?
Dr. David Richardson: That’s a very good question. Glaucoma is actually the second leading cause of blindness in the world. But, it’s a silent disease. There are no symptoms until it’s really too late. So, unlike the other two leading causes of blindness — Cataract and Macular Degeneration, it really doesn’t get a lot of awareness. Similar (more like) Diabetes or High Blood pressure where the treatments often are more bothersome than the disease itself until it gets to that end-stage point. Glaucoma is caused by a high pressure in the eye and we feel that the pressure is elevated simply because the drainage system in the eye gets clogged up. So, most of the treatments are really geared toward creating a new drainage system or using medications to either reduce the amount fluid in the eye that’s produced or help that fluid find a way out of the eye. But until recently, there’s been no way to actually just treat the natural drainage system and get it to start working again.
KCAL9: So, that’s where you come in with what’s called Canaloplasty. Is that right?
Dr. David Richardson: That’s right. Canaloplasty is one of a new generation of what we’d call minimally invasive surgeries for the eye. It’s very similar to angioplasty and in fact some have actually called it angioplasty for the eye. What it involves is creating a small flap, just underneath the eyelid on the white part of the eye. So there’s nothing to be seen by the patient. Then, a very small catheter, in fact, it’s the world’s smallest catheter is used to open up that drainage system with a special gel called viscoelastic, and then just like with the angioplasty where stents are left, a suture is used then to stent open the canal, which is again the body’s natural drainage system so there’s no additional hole placed in the eye. You’re really just opening up the drainage system that was there before.
KCAL9: So does this stop the progression of Glaucoma or does it actually help to heal or reverse the symptom?
Dr. David Richardson That’s a very good question. The problem with Glaucoma is that when the damage is done, it’s permanent. And to date, we have no real way to reverse the damage. So it’s absolutely critical that we treat Glaucoma before the vision has been lost. So, of course, in order to do that we have to find which requires the proper screening but up until just recently the only surgical treatment that were available were really withheld until the end stages of Glaucoma when significant vision had already been lost. And the reason for that is that the older style of surgery — Trabeculectomy, shunts or tubes, were simply just too risky to provide for somebody at an earlier stage. Canaloplasty is now opening up that opportunity to people to allow them to get a long-term treatment, successful surgical treatment at an earlier stage before they’ve lost vision.
In the most common surgical procedure for glaucoma, doctors penetrate the eye and create a hole to reduce the pressure. In canaloplasty it’s completely different. Doctors say to think of it as “angioplasty for the eye.”
“With canaloplasty we do not penetrate the eye,” said Richardson.
Instead, Richardson cuts a tiny flap at the top of the eye. Surgeons find an opening in the eye’s natural drainage system, insert a micro-catheter to expand the canal and then keep it open with a stent.
“This surgery is really the first surgery that allows us to give patients with glaucoma a surgical treatment before they get to that end stage of glaucoma,” said Dr. Richardson.
It’s the holiday highlight families spend the whole day waiting for, but experts say the best way to enjoy Fourth of July fireworks is to go to a professional show.
It’s much safer than setting them off at home. Officials report 6,000 fireworks-related injuries in the weeks surround Fourth of July last year. But some injuries, while rare, can happen at professional displays.
“The main issue there is truly debris falling into the eye,” said Pasadena ophthalmologist Dr. David Richardson. He said in 2010, there were 400 eye injuries caused by debris.
“It depends on how windy the night is and how high the fireworks go into the air, but they can float down into the crowd,” said Richardson. “And occasionally, that debris still can be hot — an ember — in which case if it hits they eye it can burn.”
Again, Richardson reminds us these instances are very rare, and a professional display is still the best way to enjoy the holiday.
But he has a caution for people who suffer from dry eyes.
“Those who have very dry eyes can be a little sensitive to light,” he said.
Large crowds, bright lights and loud sounds can be stressful on little ones. So keep a close eye on them.
But Krystal Ramirez says she’d rather take her 3 year old out than light her own.
“I’m kind of a paranoid mom, so it’s probably better that we go to a fireworks show than do that,” she said.
So be aware when you head out to watch a celebration in the sky and have a safe fun holiday.
Parents worry about firecrackers and other fireworks, but what about sparklers? Eye doctors say they’re not as harmless as you might think.
The hot burning embers can damage the cornea, which is the clear part on the very front of the eye. It’s a key component of vision because it reflects light on to the retina.
When the cornea gets scratched or damaged, it can be blinding, and sometimes the damage is permanent.
When Jannette Hernandez’s young daughter was twirling a sparkler around, no one expected her to get burned.
“She was waving it around, and it actually hit her stomach, and it went through her shirt, and she got a little scar on her stomach,” Hernandez said.
It’s a scar you can still see seven years later. So what if it hit her eye??
“As an eye surgeon, being on call on the Fourth of July can be a really heart-wrenching experience,” said Dr. David Richardson, an ophthalmologist. “These sparks can just fly into the eye, and if they hit the cornea, that can actually cause permanent visual loss.”
According to the 2011 fireworks report, in the one-month period surrounding July 4th, officials recorded 6,200 injuries, and 1,100 were eye injuries. Sparklers accounted for the largest number of injuries to children under 5.
“We can expect that about 500 people this year are going to permanently lose vision from fireworks,” Richardson said.
If a child gets an eye injury from a sparkler, do not rub or touch the eye. Get them to an emergency room so an eye surgeon can examine the injury. Some injuries don’t look bad, but they can be dangerous and blinding.
“We’re really discovering that there are no safe fireworks that you can use as an individual,” Richardson said.
Richardson notes sparklers are sold in multiple packets, so it’s possible parents will end up with more than they bargained for. His advice: Don’t buy them at all.
Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Even when adults use fireworks, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends using goggles.
Feature Story (Health)
New Glaucoma Treatment Signals Breakthrough
By JANE GLENN HAAS, The Orange County Register | April 26, 2012
This can permanently damage vision and lead to blindness if untreated.
Glaucoma is normally associated with increased fluid pressure in the eye.
If untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent damage of the optic nerve and result in visual field loss. Over time, the condition can result in blindness. The Kellogg Eye Center says glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the world, especially in older people.
Glaucoma has been called the “silent thief of sight” because loss of vision often occurs gradually over a long period of time and symptoms occur only when the disease is advanced.
Once lost, vision cannot normally be recovered.
Commonly thought of as an older person’s disease, glaucoma strikes more than 2.2 million Americans and at least half don’t know they have it, says Dr. David Richardson, of San Gabriel Eye Associates.
Richardson, an instructor of ophthalmologists, is one of only a handful of specialists in the country performing “canaloplasty,” a sight-saving breakthrough for glaucoma.
Patients Honor Dr. David D. Richardson, M.D. for Compassion
WGCL-TV, CBS Atlanta | Apr. 30, 2012
Dr. David D. Richardson, M.D. of Pasadena, CA is ranked among the top physicians in the nation based on patient reviews.
PASADENA, Calif., April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Patients’ Choice has announced that Dr. David D. Richardson, M.D. was one of a select few physicians honored with the prestigious 2011 Compassionate Doctor Certification.
Each year, nearly 100 million patients across the U.S. access websites like Vitals (http://www.vitals.com), UCompareHealthCare (http://www.ucomparehealthcare.com), and Patients’ Choice (http://www.patientschoice.org) to provide feedback about experiences with their physicians.
Only those physicians with near perfect overall and bedside manner scores, as voted by their patients, are selected for the Compassionate Doctor recognition. Of the nation’s 720,000 active physicians, only 3% were accorded this honor in 2011.
Dr. David Richardson Selected For Patients’ Choice Award 2011
PR Newswire | SAN GABRIEL, Calif., Dec. 12, 2011
Dr. David Richardson of San Gabriel, CA has been ranked among the top physicians in the nation based on patient reviews. A select few physicians were honored with the prestigious 2011 Patients’ Choice Award, and this year they include Dr. David Richardson. Only doctors who have received top scores by their patients and pass other quality measures are awarded the Patients’ Choice Award. In fact, of the nation’s 720,000 active physicians, just 5 percent were accorded this honor in 2011.
Every month, millions of patients across the U.S. access websites like Vitals (http://www.vitals.com) to share feedback about their experiences with their doctors. Patients rate various components of the care they receive, such as the accuracy of their diagnosis, the amount of time they spent with the doctor, and the doctor’s bedside manner and follow-up care. Patients’ Choice ranks the top reviewed physicians and looks at other quality measures to compile its yearly list. Read more: http://www.bizjournals.com →