It's June, which means it's Cataract Awareness Month. Are you aware that cataracts are the leading culprit of deteriorating vision among patients who are over 55 years old? More so, more than fifty percent of the population who are 65 and older have some degree of cataract development. As reported by the National Eye Institute, by the time they reach 80 years old, more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or had cataract surgery.
So what exactly is a cataract? A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens; one which blocks or distorts the passage of light into the eye. Inside the eye, the lens is contained in a sort of sac or capsule. As old cells die, they start to become stuck within the capsule. Over time, a large amount of cells cease to function and accrue, causing the lens to become veiled, which makes eyesight blurred or fuzzy. For most people, cataracts are an expected part of aging. Other possible dangers for developing a cataract include being overweight, diabetes, eye injuries and smoking.
In the first stages of cataract development, stronger lighting and eyewear may be implemented to reduce the vision problems you may have begun to notice. At a certain point, though, surgery might be needed to improve your vision. But, it's comforting to know that more than 90 percent of sufferers who have cataract surgery recover perfect or near perfect sight.
If you are in your 60s and experiencing low vision, it's time to discuss cataracts with your eye care professional. Cataracts are treatable, and we know you want to have good vision throughout your golden years.