Ask the Doctor:

Ella Faktorovich, M.D.
Monday, April 27, 2009

Q: Only one proven treatment for cataracts?

When the lens inside our eye becomes cloudy or yellow, it is called a cataract. Symptoms of early cataracts may include blurry vision, glare at night, faded colors and the need to increase light when reading at night. Assess how much your vision bothers you. If you would like to improve your vision, the only treatment for cataracts proven to be effective is cataract removal followed by a placement of a new, clear lens. Sophisticated lenses are now available to help patients see better without glasses after cataract removal.

Q: How can I treat painful dryness caused by wearing contact lenses?

Often referred to as dry eye syndrome, this is caused by reduced production of tears and moisture in the eyes. The result is discomfort in the eyes that ranges from moderate pain to a grainy and scratchy discomfort. Factors that cause dry eyes include excessive computer use, hormonal changes in women approaching menopause, certain medications, environmental factors such as pollution or dry windy air and contact lens wear, which is the leading cause. To know the specific causes of your dry eyes, you should consult an eye doctor; however, your options may include tear duct plugs which will limit loss of tear film, use of artificial tears or an alternative to contacts such as eyeglasses or LASIK.

The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. The San Francisco Chronicle, and its contributors are not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.

Ella G. Faktorovich, M.D., is a corneal and refractive surgeon in San Francisco and founder of the Pacific Vision Institute. Go to for more information about clinical care and research at PVI. The questions above are commonly asked of Faktorovich. Have a question for the doctor? E-mail it to Include your full name, address, town and phone number. We will answer as many as we can.

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