It's June, which means it's Cataract Awareness Month. Are you aware that cataracts are the leading reason behind loss of vision among those 55 and older? More so, more than half of those aged 65 or older have some degree of cataract development. According to the National Eye Institute, by the time they reach 80 years old, more than 50 percent of all Americans will either have a cataract or had cataract surgery.
So what exactly is a cataract? A cataract is a fogging of the lens, which obstructs or changes the path of light into the eye. For a lot of people, cataracts are a normal result of aging. Additional risk factors for developing a cataract include strong heat or ongoing exposure to UV rays from the sun, being overweight, diabetes, hypertension, long-term steroid use, smoking and eye injuries.
In the early stages of cataract development, more efficient lighting and eyewear can be implemented to lessen the vision issues you may be experiencing. At a certain point, though, cataract surgery may be required to improve your sight. But, it's comforting to know that more than 90 percent of people who have undergone cataract surgery reacquire strong sight.
If you are in your sixties and perceiving cloudy eyesight, book an appointment to discuss cataracts with your optometrist. The prognosis for cataracts is excellent, and we know you want to see well throughout your later years.