June is Cataract Awareness Month

Jun 16, 2022 | general

Did you know that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world? The good news, though, is that cataracts are manageable and very treatable. June has been declared Cataract Awareness Month by Prevent Blindness to educate the public on symptoms, types of cataracts, cataract surgery, and more, so in honor of Cataract Awareness Month, we will share some quick facts about cataracts and how you can get a LASIK consultation in Pembroke Pines, FL.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is when the lens in the eye becomes cloudy due to proteins in the lens breaking down and preventing the passage of light into the eye, which results in blurry or dimmed vision. The lens is what helps to focus an image onto the retina, which transmits the images to the brain. The most common reason cataracts develop is aging. Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes. 

What are the Risk Factors for Cataracts?

Most people will develop cataracts as part of the aging process. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss people over the age of 55, and over half of people over 65 have some degree of cataract development.

Other risk factors for developing cataracts include a family history of cataracts, having diabetes, smoking, having sustained an eye injury or undergone radiation treatments on the upper body, spending a lot of time in the sun without wearing quality sunglasses to protect the eyes from UV rays, and long-term use of steroids and certain medications.

What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Most age-related cataracts develop very slowly, and in the early stages of their development, there may not be any obvious symptoms. Over time, though, as they progress, they will cause changes in vision.

  • Blurry, clouded vision.
  • Colors seem faded.
  • Reduced night vision, especially when driving.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Seeing double.
  • Frequent changes in the prescription for eyeglasses to see clearly.

Sometimes, cataracts develop in younger people or people who have diabetes, and when this happens, the progression of their development can be much faster.

What is the Treatment for Cataracts?

During the early stages of cataract development, simply adjusting the prescriptions of the eyeglasses and use of better lighting can help. If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, it’s important to protect your eyes from UV rays by wearing quality sunglasses, limit driving at night if the glare from headlights and streetlights have become a problem and come in for regular comprehensive eye exams so the progression of the cataract development can be closely monitored. Once the cataracts progress to a certain point, though, cataract surgery will be recommended. Cataracts can only be removed through surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is a safe, effective procedure, and very common in the United States. During the surgery, the clouded lens is removed and is replaced with a clear, artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). If you have questions about cataract surgery, the doctors at The Eye Center in Pembroke Pines can address your concerns when you come in for a comprehensive eye exam, and if needed, will refer you to an expert surgeon, and co-manage your post-operative care.

It is important for everyone to have regular eye exams, but as you age, you need to have a dilated eye exam at least once every year. The doctors at The Eye Center have the expertise and use the latest in technology to diagnose and monitor the progression of cataracts, and if surgery is recommended, will refer you to a qualified, expert cataract surgeon and will co-manage the process.