Cataract Awareness Month
Did you know that cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness? By age 65, you have a 50% chance of developing a cataract, and, by age 75, your risk increases to 70%. Because they are so common, it’s important to understand the symptoms, causes, and treatment options available.
What are cataracts?
In the eye, the lens is located behind the pupil and iris. In a healthy eye, the lens is transparent and clear. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, which blocks light entering the eye and leads to blurred and dimmed vision. Cataracts typically start out small and do not greatly impair vision. Over time as the cataract progresses, performing daily tasks like reading or driving become more difficult.
What causes cataracts?
Unfortunately, the exact cause of cataracts is unknown. Cataracts generally impact individuals as they age, but there are other factors that contribute to their development –
- Certain diseases, like diabetes
- Eye diseases
- Eye injuries or long-term exposure to UV rays or heat
How are cataracts treated?
In the early stages of a cataract, stronger glasses and adjustments to lighting may be recommended by your eye doctor. If your daily life starts to become more impacted by cataracts (unable to drive at night, eye strain, difficulties reading, etc.) your doctor may recommend cataract-removal surgery. Cataract-removal surgery is one of the most common procedures in the U.S. Over two million cataract surgeries are performed each year and their success rate is over 95%.
The good news is that routine dilated eye exams can aid in the early detection of cataracts. By age 65, you should be receiving a complete eye exam every one to two years, even if you do not have any vision concerns. If you have questions about cataracts, please be sure to give our office a call, or fill out our contact form on our website.