It's June, which means it's Cataract Awareness Month. Did you know that cataracts are the most common culprit of deteriorating vision among those 55 and older? Actually, more than fifty percent of all people aged 65 or older have at least some cataract development. As reported by the National Eye Institute, by the time they reach 80 years old, more than 50 percent of all Americans will have either had cataract surgery, or will have a cataract.
So what exactly is a cataract? A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens, which blocks or affects the passage of light into the eye. Inside the eye, the lens is contained in a sealed bag or capsule. As aging cells break down, they become caught inside the capsule. After some time, a large amount of cells follow suit and assemble, and this causes the lens to cloud, leading to vision that is blurred or fuzzy. For a lot of people, cataracts are a natural result of older age. Other possible dangers for developing a cataract include extended exposure to UV rays from the sun, obesity, diabetes, inflammation in the eye, ongoing steroid use, smoking and eye injuries.
Throughout the initial phases of cataract development, brighter lights and glasses may be prescribed to reduce the vision issues you may have begun to notice. At a certain point in the future, though, cataract surgery might be required to rectify your vision. But, it's comforting to know that more than 9 out of 10 people who have cataract surgery recover excellent sight.
If you are at risk for cataracts and perceiving cloudy vision, call our office to discuss cataracts with your eye care professional. There are treatments available for cataracts, and we know you want to have total visibility throughout your later years.