It's June, which means it's Cataract Awareness Month. Are you aware that cataracts are the leading source of loss of vision among patients who are over 55 years old? Actually, more than half of the population who are 65 and older have at least some cataract development. As stated by the National Eye Institute, by age 80, more than 50 percent of all Americans will have had a cataract.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye; one that limits or alters the passage of light into the eye. Inside the eye, the lens exists within a membrane or capsule. As soon as aging cells stop functioning, they get trapped inside the capsule. As time goes on, more and more cells follow suit and assemble, which causes the lens to cloud, leading to vision that is fuzzy or unclear. For a lot of people, cataracts are an expected result of aging. Additional causes for developing a cataract include being overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure, inflammation in the eye, cigarettes and various eye injuries.
Throughout the initial stages of cataract development, brighter lighting and glasses may be prescribed to reduce the vision issues you might be having. At a certain point, though, cataract surgery may be necessary in order to improve your eyesight. More than 90% of patients who've had cataract surgery reacquire perfect or near perfect sight.
If you are in your fifties and noticing low vision symptoms, call us to discuss cataracts with your optometrist. The prognosis for cataracts is excellent, and we know you want to have good vision throughout your golden years.