Ask Dr. Chu! Cataract Information on Twin Cities Live

Dr. Chu was thrilled to join Elizabeth and Kevin on Twin Cities Live, yet again! Last time Dr. Chu talked about Cataracts and Cataract Surgery. After that segment aired in June 2023, we received numerous inquiries from fans of the show who wanted more information about cataracts. So he went back to the studio and answered as many questions as he could!

Watch the segment below!



well thank you for spending part of your afternoon with Twin Cities Live Kevin Dorne is filling in for Ben Liber today thank you for the opportunity so nice to have you here Ben is going to be back here tomorrow of course he’s traveling with the Vikings okay so the last time Dr Chu from Chu Vision was here in our studio he told us about cataracts and then cataract surgery and then afterwards not surprisingly his team was overwhelmed by the number of tcl-ers who called with questions and they wanted additional information and they probably because we love tcl-ers they were like Dr chu is now my friend because I saw my TCL so I’m going to invite him to Thanksgiving too and we thank our TCL Watchers for asking all those questions so we brought Dr Chu back to answer all your questions for a segment we’re calling ask Dr Chu here’s the man with the plan hi Dr thanks for being here hi thanks Elizabeth Kevin so what happened everybody called and they were all like oh my gosh I need help yeah and I’m happy cuz I love food so bring on the Thanksgiving you might come if you invite him so we’re talking about cataracts today um and I mentioned earlier I think if you don’t have them when you’re younger most of us grow into it is that the case yeah it’s really part of the natural aging process of the eye everyone if they you know if you live long enough you’re going to have some cataract symptoms uhhuh so who’s eligible who are who’s a candidate for cataract surgery you know when you start having trouble seeing um in dark you know needing more light to read yeah uh you might have glare and Halo from headlights you know um those are the first signs that people have you know might be having cataract symptoms and is it like what is the actual cataract it’s not a cat exactly a cataract yep and people think it’s like a film growing over the eye but it’s actually a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye so if the eyes is like a camera it’s the lens getting cloudier as we get older so you notice it like via your vision before you notice it when you see cuz like you always see animal you know you see dogs that get a cataract um you’ll notice it inside your own Vision before you’ll see the outside change absolutely so it got the name cataract you know cataract means waterfall so in the old days when the surgical techniques weren’t good the eyes became White so you could actually see a white spot in somebody’s eye that’s the Cataract and that’s dogs and animals now you know we have so many demands on our vision seeing cell phones and screens people come in much earlier they’re starting to say you know I just can’t see when I need to read and things like that so yeah you won’t see a white spot in their eye but you’ll they’ll just complain of blurriness of vision how big a deal is the surgery you know it’s come along way you know before um it was much more involved nowadays it takes less than 10 minutes it does not hurt um you get to be asleep for the surgery so you won’t see or feel anything coming towards your face yeah yeah and uh 99% of people don’t even need Tylenol or Advil after the procedure oh my gosh now a lot of people are going to wonder um if they’re like me and they had LASIK yeah can you still get cataract surgery or will you need it if you’ve had LASIK that’s an excellent question that comes up all the time and the answer is yes so lasik was done on a different part of the eye and so it’s done on the cornea um so there’s a natural aging process you’re still going to need cataract surgery after lasik and it can be done and I’ve heard and I’m kind of going off script here I’ve heard that if if you are a candidate for Lasik at some point wait for the cataract surgery and have them done at the same time or is that just a myth that’s that’s really great so um age comes into play too right so as we get older there are things that cataract surgery can give patients because of the advanced implants we have now to help patients see better at distance and for near so if you’re in that 45 and over age group lasik may not be the best first choice for you and so that’s why going to a place that offers all these options not just lasik you want to go to a place that offers a comprehensive approach to vision correction so you’re saying the one procedure could fix both problems cataract surgery can where whereas lasik may not be able to depending on a patient’s age but if you’re going to like a lasik Center and that’s all they offer that’s what they’re going to be thinking of where you’re going to a place that’s more holistically looking at the health of the eye it’s really an assessment of what will work for you I think there’s there’s more than eight procedures that we offer just to help people get out of their uh glasses and contacts and figuring out what your lifefstyle needs are and matching it to what the technology can give you is really the key uh in today is cataract surgery one size fits all definitely not you know so nowadays we have so many different options we have um lens implant options that correct astigmatism correct for reading glasses correct for after lasik correction so it’s really gotten more complex in our Diagnostics and our education and just presenting the options to patients okay so here’s another question you brought up glasses will I need reading glasses after cataract surgery most people out there are thinking please Dr Chu say no you know the answer is no okay so not everybody’s necessarily candidate for those Technologies right so I think it’s important to go to a place that screens you thoroughly educates you so you can make the right decision but it’s important to know that you can get out of glasses for distance and for reading glasses after cataract surgery so like for me I just started wearing glasses a few years ago and and just so you know I only wear them so I can see um so you’re saying so you’re saying I’m able to get rid get rid of my glasses I know a guy oh my gosh can we follow you on the camera how exciting would that be I had no idea I thought I’m just stuck with these forever so a lot of people might just be thinking are they thinking I need glasses to see but they might be dealing with a cataract absolutely yeah so there are you know I think it’s important to get in see your eye care professional first of all but yeah there’s you don’t have to wait as long now for a fully you know cataract surgery is no longer um a condition of older patients right we we thought it was our grandparents got cataracts we see people in their 40s and 50s with some early symptoms that just want to have some freedom from glasses and an important question it is this covered by most insurance yeah if you have a cataract it’s a medical condition and most people’s insurance covers that is there anything though that we can do to either like prevent it or delay it because you know I mean surgery isn’t like the best option for everybody what can we do to really focus on our Eye Health yeah I think the the most important thing is just take care of your General Health so one thing that’s been associated with cataracts is smoking right so minimizing smoking can slow the progression of cataracts wow was that dry it out or what is you know it’s uh it’s the proteins in the eye that are changing so I think if you you know put a lot of sure oxidative stress you know so taking antioxidant vitamins you know protecting your eyes from UV light exposure excessively with with good sunglasses those things can help reduce the progression of cataracts what about the blue light do we you know we talk about that I’m always concerned because I’m just looking at a screen all the time I think that’s a great question I think the uh the science is still early on that yeah um but I’m supportive of it you know I think these screens are are giving a lot of wavelengths that we’re not aware of so if it makes your eyes feel more comfortable I’m not against blue blue protection Wow have we had a productive segment of ask we had five questions and we asked you at least 25 questions in that segment very good very learn much good to see you Dr great talking to all right if you have questions about cataracts or your vision you can visit The Chu Vision Institute at or call them at the number on your screen we posted that confirm contact information on you might see Kevin Dorne in the waiting room I learned a lot I really did go get a out get rid of these

Dr. Ralph Chu LASIK surgeon Minneapolis Ophthalmologists

Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu is a fellowship-trained corneal specialist and a nationally recognized leader in refractive and cataract procedures. His specialty areas include cataract, LASIK, cornea, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries for patients in the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Twin Cities areas.

Posted on September 15, 2023

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