In the United States, this month is Cataract Awareness Month. Did you know that cataracts are the most commonly occurring source of vision loss among adults aged 55 and older? In fact, more than 50% of those who are 65 and older have at least some cataract development.
So what exactly is a cataract? A cataract is like a veil in front of the eye's lens; one that obstructs or distorts the path of light into the eye. Within your eye, the lens is found within a membrane or capsule. As soon as more mature cells stop functioning, they end up stuck within the capsule. After some time, a large amount of cells cease to function and accumulate, which causes the lens to cloud, making vision fuzzy or blurry. For most people, cataracts are a normal part of aging. Additional causes for developing a cataract include being overweight, diabetes, hypertension, family medical history, long-term steroid use, cigarettes and various eye injuries.
During the initial stages of cataract development, stronger lights and eyeglasses may be implemented to reduce the vision problems you might be having. Eventually, though, a surgical procedure may be required to help your sight. But, it's comforting to know that more than 9 out of 10 sufferers who've had cataract surgery reacquire great vision.
If you are over fifty-five and noticing low vision symptoms, call the office to discuss cataracts with your optometrist. There are treatments available for cataracts, and we know you want to have good vision throughout your later years.