It's June, which means it's Cataract Awareness Month. Did you know that cataracts are the leading culprit of loss of vision among those 55 and older? In fact, more than half of those 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.
A cataract is a fogging of the lens in the eye, which obstructs or alters the how light enters into the eye. Within the eye, the lens is contained in a sealed bag or capsule. When more mature cells break down, they start to become trapped inside the capsule. As time goes on, a large amount of cells follow suit and accrue, causing the lens to cloud, making vision blurry. For a lot of people, cataracts are a natural side effect of aging. Additional risk factors for developing a cataract include obesity, diabetes, hypertension, family medical history, long-term steroid use, smoking and eye injuries.
In the initial stages of cataract development, stronger lights and eyewear could be used to minimize the vision issues you may have begun to notice. At some point, however, surgery might be required to help your eyesight. But, it's comforting to know that more than 9 out of 10 sufferers who have cataract surgery regain great sight.
If you are over age 55 and experiencing low vision, book an appointment to discuss cataracts with your eye care professional. The prognosis for cataracts is excellent, and we know you want to have total visibility throughout your later years.