It's June, which means it's Cataract Awareness Month. Are you aware that cataracts are the main cause of deteriorating vision among patients who are over 55 years old? Actually, more than fifty percent of those who are 65 or older have at the very least, partial cataract development. As stated by the National Eye Institute, by the time they reach 80 years old, more than 50 percent of all Americans will have had a cataract.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens; one which limits or affects the path of light into the eye. In the interior part of the eye, the lens exists within a sort of sac or capsule. When aging cells stop functioning, they end up trapped within the capsule. Eventually, a large amount of cells die and accumulate, causing the lens to become veiled, leading to vision that is blurred or fuzzy. Cataracts are an expected side effect of older age. Other causes for developing a cataract include diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, family history, ongoing steroid use, smoking and eye injuries.
In the first phases of cataract development, more efficient lights and glasses could be prescribed to reduce the vision issues you may have begun to notice. Eventually, though, a surgical procedure may be required to improve your sight. But, it's comforting to know that more than 9 out of 10 sufferers who have cataract surgery reacquire perfect or near perfect sight.
If you are in your fifties and having a hard time seeing in low light, you might want to discuss cataracts with your optometrist. There are treatments available for cataracts, and we know you want to be able to see well throughout your golden years.