June Is Cataract Awareness Month: How Has Your Vision Been?
This year, Prevent Blindness America has proclaimed the month of June as Cataract Awareness Month, starting this year, 2021. Within this awareness, the hope is that people will gain a better understanding of the disease, the symptoms, the treatments available and how you should go about having your eyes checked. At MyEyeCare, our highly trained optometrists can check your eyes out efficiently and get you outfitted in the right lenses and frames for your style.
What Are Cataracts?
In a healthy eye, your lens will be clear and your vision is exceptional. When you develop cataracts, the lens becomes cloudy. This causes your vision to slowly blur, making it difficult to see. If left untreated, it can cause blindness as well. As you get older, the lenses’ water and proteins can bunch together and cause your eyes to blur as well. Most cases of cataracts are in the elderly, but younger people can develop the disease, especially diabetics. Other symptoms or underlying conditions can exacerbate the disease, including obesity, eye inflammation, history of eye issues, smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, and more. You will be at a higher risk of developing cataracts after age 40, and studies have shown that 1 in 6 Americans develop this disease later in life.
There are many eye drops that are available to you in halting your cataract progression. Most eye drops won’t typically “cure” the disease, but will give you a level of maintenance that can help slow progression. If your case is relatively mild, you may be able to get a specific pair of glasses to help with the disease and utilize better lighting techniques to increase your sight. Besides that, surgery is a typical go-to when your cataracts have progressed as the surgery will treat the issue. Most cataract surgeries can be performed by an optometrist, and are often a very fast procedure. The lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens, or an IOL. The surgery is fairly straightforward, but you do need to follow any and all instructions given to you by your doctor, along with any medications prescribed. You will usually be able to resume your daily tasks quickly, typically in a few days’ time.
Prevention Is Key
If you want to try and make a difference in your potential for developing cataracts, your best bet is prevention. If some of the excessive behaviors listed above are in your current lifestyle, such as obesity and smoking, it may be time to make some changes. Cutting back on the frivolous activities in your life can potentially stave off any cataract development, especially if your family is not prone to developing the disease. Cataracts can develop slowly, even over years, leading you to not notice the progression right away, until it’s already too late. Blurry vision isn’t the only symptom, either. Other symptoms of cataracts include double vision, night vision problems, sensitivity to light, colors dimming, and more. If you think you are developing cataracts, it’s best to see an optometrist right away to confirm, and start a solid plan of treating it.
Do you need to check your vision in case of cataract development? MyEyeCare has been helping the Casselberry community for over a decade in their eye health. Our team will help you see clearly quickly! Visit us today to get started.