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Clear lens exchange 

Surgical procedures  come with a certain level of risk, and it’s vital to evaluate the benefits against the risks before deciding to undergo any procedure. When an ophthalmologist decides to perform surgery in the presence of a disease or pathology, they consider the level of risk against the expected benefits. However, the decision to perform a clear lens exchange surgery, where no pathology is present, should be approached differently. 

Clear lens exchange surgery is considered non-essential and cosmetic, with benefits varying from patient to patient. Unlike other eye surgeries, where vision is at risk, clear lens exchange surgeries aim to improve vision that is already functional. The risks, however, still remain for everyone who undergoes the procedure. Of note, clear lens surgery is riskier in younger patients and usually requires a perfect retina for optimal vision. The implant used in the surgery can cause halos and glare perception, especially in low-light conditions. The procedure is not entirely reversible, and removing the implant can have significant consequences. 

Chat with your optometrist and surgeon about risks and benefits in order to make an informed decision that aligns with your health goals and expectations. 

Source: The Conversation

Headaches and your neck

There is mounting evidence that neck pain often leads to headaches with a recent study providing objective markers for muscle involvement. 

Magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRI) done to investigate myofascial involvement in tension type headaches and migraines, revealed subtle changes in the trapezius muscle – the one that extends from the midback into the neck and shoulders. These may stem from inflammation according to some researchers who also discovered “significant associations between those muscular changes and the number of days an individual suffered from headaches and neck pain”.

Others, suggest that you can’t assume its inflammation from an MRI – the muscle could be strained or contracted. It isn’t known yet whether the neck pain actually causes the headache or whether the two simply co-exist, however, Jessica Ailani, one of the professors involved in the study says, this much is clear, “people with migraines more frequently have neck pain even when they aren’t having a migraine attack”. It’s also been suggested by the world headache society that seventy five percent of people with migraine also have neck pain.

Source: National Geographic

To drive or not to drive 

There have been very few studies to determine how older adults, who are diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or dementia, continue to drive. There are no national standards to inform individuals who’ve been diagnosed about when they should stop driving. 

Older drivers are generally considered safe. They use seat belts, are less likely to drive intoxicated, and are less prone to speeding. They are also involved in fewer fatal car accidents. 

Some drivers who are seniors are known to restrict where and when they drive, following familiar routes, avoiding heavily trafficked streets, and not driving at night. 

Nevertheless, the risk of having an automobile accident increases for older drivers as they age and develop a ranger of medical conditions such as; arthritis, glaucoma, and Parkinson’s disease. Cognitive impairments or dementia also create significant challenges as a driver’s decision-making, focus and attention, judgment, and risk assessment abilities are could be in danger of becoming compromised. 

Naming a family member or friend who is willing to talk to their elder about driver safety and help them to explore alternative methods of transportation are two suggestions mentioned. 

Source: The Washington Post

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