June is Cataract Awareness month. Did you know that cataracts are the leading source of loss of vision among those 55 and older? In fact, more than half of all people aged 65 or older have at the very least, partial cataract development. As stated by the National Eye Institute, by the time they hit 80, more than 50 percent of all Americans will either have a cataract or had cataract surgery.
A cataract is like a veil in front of the lens in the eye; one which obstructs or changes the path of light into the eye. Inside the eye, the lens is found within a sort of sac or capsule. As more mature cells break down, they get stuck within the capsule. Eventually, more cells die and accrue, which causes the lens to get cloudy, which makes eyesight blurry. When it comes to most people, cataracts are a normal part of older age. Other possible risk factors for developing a cataract include high blood pressure, family medical history, inflamed eyes, ongoing steroid use, cigarettes and various eye injuries.
During the initial phases of cataract development, brighter lighting and glasses could be implemented to minimize the vision issues you may have begun to notice. At a certain point, though, cataract surgery might be required to improve your sight. But, it's comforting to know that more than 90% of patients who have cataract surgery recover excellent vision.
If you are in your sixties and having a hard time seeing in low light, it's time to discuss cataracts with your eye doctor. Cataracts are treatable, and we know you want to see well throughout your golden years.