STUDIO CITY ( — Dr. David Richardson, a Southern California board certified eye surgeon appeared on KCAL9 News on December 30, 2012 to discuss 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”

SoCal Board Certified Eye Surgeon Discusses New Book

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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 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.

Looking for an Ophthalmologist in California?

Dr. David Richardson is taking new patients at his office in San Marino, CA., and is always willing to provide a second opinion for those who would like the peace-of-mind that such a consultation would provide.

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