June is Cataract Awareness month. Did you know that cataracts are the leading source of loss of vision among those 55 and older? Actually, more than 50% of the population aged 65 and older have at the very least, partial cataract development.
A cataract is like a veil in front of the lens; one that limits or distorts the passage of light into the eye. Inside the eye, the lens exists within a sealed bag or capsule. As more mature cells stop functioning, they end up trapped within the capsule. As time goes on, a large amount of cells die and gather, which causes the lens to become veiled, making vision blurred or fuzzy. For most people, cataracts are a natural side effect of older age. Additional risks for developing a cataract include strong heat or extended exposure to the sun's UV rays, being overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure, family medical history, inflamed eyes, steroid use, smoking and eye injuries.
In the initial stages of cataract development, stronger lighting and glasses may be implemented to lessen the vision issues you may be experiencing. At some point, though, cataract surgery might be the solution to improve your vision. But, it's comforting to know that more than 90 percent of patients who have undergone cataract surgery reacquire strong sight.
If you are in your sixties and having a hard time seeing in low light, it's time to discuss cataracts with your optometrist. The prognosis for cataracts is excellent, and we know you want to have total visibility throughout your golden years.