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Cataract Surgery

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.

Causes and Risk Factors

How Aging Takes a Toll

When aging takes its toll early, free radicals might be to blame. Free radicals are atoms, usually oxygen, that have an odd number of electrons, leaving one electron unpaired. This free electron makes the atom unstable, so it "seeks out" other particles in the body to bond with.

Excess free radicals steal electrons from normal particles in other cells, damaging their DNA and converting them to free radicals. The mutated cells multiply abnormally and rapidly, creating a chain reaction. Rampant free-radical damage is a factor in accelerated aging as well as dozens of disorders, including cancer, heart disease, strokes, emphysema, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, ulcers, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease.and cataracts.

What produces free-radical overload? There are at least four lifestyle factors that aggravate freeradical damage:

  1. The body's overproduction of free radicals, caused by tobacco use (not only smoking but also using snuff or chewing tobacco), air pollution, certain disease processes, poisons, drugs, radiation (ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma rays from radioactive material), polyunsaturated and hydrogenated oils, rancid fats and nuts, smoked and barbecued foods, some food additives, and other substances
  2. Undernourishment, producing too few of the antioxidants needed to fight free radicals
  3. Activities and substances that affect metabolism, causing the body to use up its supply of antioxidants too quickly (stress, "extreme" exercise, certain illnesses, obesity, drugs, and toxins)
  4. Alcohol abuse, which not only consumes more than its share of antioxidants but also is believed to act directly on lens proteins Free radicals aren't all bad. It's normal for cells, during the process of creating energy, to produce free radicals. Sometimes, however, our bodies produce more free radicals than our antioxidant supply can soak up. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E are able to bond with and neutralize these unstable particles.
Nutrition and Free Radicals »

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