June is Cataract Awareness month. Are you aware that cataracts are the main reason behind vision loss among patients who are over 55 years old? More so, more than fifty percent of all people 65 or older have at least some cataract development. As stated by the National Eye Institute, by the time they hit 80, more than 50 percent of all Americans will have had a cataract.
A cataract is a fogging of the lens in the eye; one which limits or changes the way light enters into the eye. In the interior part of the eye, the lens is held inside a sealed bag or capsule. As soon as aging cells die, they end up trapped within the capsule. As time goes on, a large amount of cells die and gather, causing the lens to get cloudy, leading to eyesight that is blurred or fuzzy. For most people, cataracts are an expected result of aging. Other causes for developing a cataract include extended exposure to UV rays from the sun, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, inflammation in the eye, long-term steroid use, smoking and eye injuries.
Throughout the first stages of cataract development, stronger lights and glasses may be implemented to minimize the vision issues you may have begun to notice. At a certain point, though, cataract surgery might be required to rectify your sight. But, it's comforting to know that more than 90% of patients who've had cataract surgery recover strong sight.
If you are at risk for cataracts and noticing low vision symptoms, the time has come to discuss cataracts with your optometrist. Cataracts are treatable, and we know you want to be able to see well throughout your later years.