June is a significant month for us as it’s Cataract Awareness Month. Our eye doctors, in collaboration with Prevent Blindness, are committed to raising awareness about cataracts, one of the leading causes of treatable vision loss in the United States. According to Prevent Blindness, over 24.4 million Americans will develop cataracts. As the American population ages, the number of cataract cases is projected to increase by 50 percent to 38.5 million by 2032.

What Is A Cataract? 

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens that blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. The lens is located behind the pupil and the colored iris and is typically transparent. Vision may become blurry or dim because the cataract stops light from properly passing through the retina. Generally, a cataract does not cause pain, redness, or tears.

Three Facts You Should Know About Cataracts

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, symptoms such as seeing dull colors or difficulty reading street signs may signal cataracts, which affect about 70 percent of people by age 75. The excellent news is cataracts can be corrected with surgery. Here are a few facts you should know about the condition.

  • Lower Your Risk. Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and brimmed hats when outside. Several studies suggest that eating more vitamin C-rich foods may delay how fast cataracts form. Also, not smoking helps to decrease the risk of cataract development.
  • Be Informed and Proactive. It’s important to note that age is not the sole risk factor for cataracts. Lifestyle and behavior also play a significant role in determining when and how severely cataracts develop. High blood pressure, diabetes, extensive exposure to sunlight, and obesity have all been associated with increased cataracts. Additionally, eye injuries and long-term use of steroid medication can lead to cataracts. If you have any of these risk factors, discussing them with your eye doctor is crucial. You can take the necessary steps to protect your vision by staying informed and proactive.
  • Look Forward to Improved Vision. It’s reassuring to know that cataract surgery can significantly improve your vision. During the procedure, the natural clouded lens is replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens, or IOL. Patients have a variety of lenses to choose from, each with different benefits. Studies have shown that cataract surgery can enhance the quality of life and reduce the risk of falling. This means a brighter, clearer future for your vision.

What Age Do Cataracts Develop?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 17 percent of Americans above 40 have cataracts in either one or both eyes. Although age is one of the most common reasons cataracts can develop, anyone can get cataracts. Some babies are born with cataracts, a condition known as congenital cataracts.

A Few Risk Factors And Causes For Developing Cataracts

  • Normal aging process
  • Eye Injuries
  • Eye Inflammation
  • Prolonged exposure to the sun
  • Family history of cataracts
  • Having conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Being a smoker

Empower yourself by living a healthy lifestyle to reduce your risk of developing cataracts earlier. Your choices and actions play a significant role in your eye health.

What Are The Symptoms Of Cataracts?

Recognizing a few symptoms early is beneficial to preserving your vision. Here are a few signs to look out for:

  • Blurry vision
  • Colors appear faded or dull
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night, particularly when driving
  • Glared and halos around lights
  • Increased sensitivity to light

Tips To Slow The Progress Of Cataracts

  • Schedule Your Annual Eye Exam – seeing your eye doctor once a year allows them to monitor any cataract progression
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle – Aim to exercise at least 3 – 4 times a week, and if you smoke, drop the habit and quit. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
  • Protect Your Eyes From The Sun’s UV Rays—We are approaching the first day of summer, when there will be lots of fun in the sun. Please remember to protect your eyes from UV rays. The sun can lead to the early development of cataracts and cause other damage to your eyes.

Our First Goal Is Our Patients’ Lifelong Eye Health 

If you notice changes to your vision, scheduling an eye exam TODAY is a good idea. With modern medical technologies, there is no reason to suffer vision loss due to cataracts. This month is an important reminder to schedule regular eye exams, as early detection and treatment can prevent severe vision loss.

Your Clear Vision Is Our Top Priority!

Carolina Cataract & Laser Center
References:  American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Optometric Association, and Prevent Blindness. The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided within this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

Announcement

We are excited to announce that Eyecare Physicians & Surgeons (Dr. Joseph Lally and Dr. Alexander Kent) have merged with Carolina Cataract & Laser Center.  Our practices will continue to operate at existing locations, ensuring convenient access to outstanding eye care.

For any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. Thank you for your continued trust in our team!