Prevent Blindness America has declared June to be Cataract Awareness Month, an initiative aimed at raising awareness of and advocating for education on cataract risk factors, symptoms, and treatments. preventblindness.org/cataract-awareness-month-2020
The number of Americans with cataracts are expected to be 38.5 million by 2032 and 45.6 million by 2050, according to Prevent Blindness America.
Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States, and it is the leading cause of blindness in the world. There are 24 million Americans over the age of 40 who are affected by cataracts.
How Do Cataracts Form?
In a healthy eye, our lenses are filled with proteins that line up to be perfectly transparent. However, over time, they can clump together and become opaque, creating a cataract. The rest of the eye can be completely healthy, but a cataract can block some or all of the light from reaching the retina.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cataracts?
Cataracts can start small and subtle, so it’s not always evident that a cataract is developing. Over time, you may begin to notice the following symptoms:
- Faded or yellowed colors
- Reduced night vision
- Light sensitivity and increased glare
- Halo effect around lights
- Dim, cloudy, or blurry vision
- More frequent glasses prescription changes
- Double vision in a single eye
Cataract Risk Factors
The main risk factor for cataracts is advancing age, but other factors can make them more likely to develop earlier. These include diabetes, smoking, a family history of cataracts, exposure to UV radiation over time, high blood pressure, previous inflammation or injury in an eye, previous eye surgery, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, and prolonged use of corticosteroid medication.
The Good News: Cataracts Are Treatable
In the early stages, cataract symptoms can be combated with a stronger glasses prescription, but eventually, glasses or contacts won’t be enough. Luckily, cataract surgery is performed more often than any other surgery in the US. It’s low-risk, simple, and routine, involving one short procedure on each eye. Even better, if you have other vision problems like astigmatism, cataract surgery might fix that too!
How Is Your Eye Health? We ask because WE CARE.
If you’ve noticed changes in your vision, schedule an appointment at The Eye Center of North Florida so we can check for cataracts and make sure your eyes are healthy.