It's June, which means it's Cataract Awareness Month. Are you aware that cataracts are the main cause of deteriorating vision among patients who are over 55 years old? More so, more than 50% of those who are 65 and older have at least some cataract development. As stated by the National Eye Institute, by age 80, more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or had cataract surgery.
So what exactly is a cataract? A cataract is like a veil in front of the lens; one which limits or alters the passage of light into the eye. Inside your eye, the lens exists within a membrane or capsule. When aging cells die, they get caught inside the capsule. As time goes on, a large amount of cells cease to function and assemble, and this causes the lens to get hazy, making vision blurred or fuzzy. Cataracts are a natural part of aging. Additional dangers for developing a cataract include strong heat or ongoing exposure to UV rays, hypertension, inflammation in the eye, ongoing steroid use, eye injuries and smoking.
In the initial phases of cataract development, stronger lights and eyewear may be used to lessen the vision problems you may have begun to notice. At a certain point, however, a surgical procedure might be required to help your sight. More than 9 out of 10 sufferers who have cataract surgery recover perfect or near perfect sight.
If you are in your 60s and noticing low vision symptoms, book an appointment to discuss cataracts with your eye care professional. Cataracts are treatable, and we know you want to be able to see well throughout your later years.