June has been deemed Cataract Awareness Month by Prevent Blindness, an organization that’s committed to preventing blindness and preserving vision. More than 24.4 million Americans over the age of 40 are affected by cataracts, and it’s the world’s leading cause of blindness.
Here, we’ll discuss cataracts, risk factors, and preventative measures that you can take to protect your vision.
What Are Cataracts?
When the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy, it’s known as a cataract. With this eye condition, the eye’s lens becomes gradually more difficult to see through. Typically, patients will first start to notice the clouding of the lens in bright or dim lights. Additionally, glare while driving at night is a common symptom of cataracts.
How Are Cataracts Treated?
Cataract surgery is the only way to resolve cataracts. It involves removing the cloudy natural lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. This lens incorporates the patient’s glasses prescription, giving cataract patients the opportunity to reduce their need for glasses. Astigmatism and presbyopia-corrected lenses are also available for cataract surgery.
Cataract Risk Factors
Risk factors for cataracts include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- High blood pressure
- Past eye injuries
- Family history of cataracts
- Excessive sun exposure
- Radiation exposure
How To Prevent Cataracts
Most often, cataracts result from the natural aging process. With this in mind, everyone will get a cataract at some point in life. However, various strategies may be helpful in slowing down the development of cataracts, including:
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Wear sunglasses with UV-ray protection
- Manage medical conditions, like diabetes, that can contribute to cataracts
- Visiting your eye doctor for routine exams to ensure early cataract detection
The Eye Clinic of Florida is a leading provider of cataract surgery in the greater Tampa Bay Florida area. To learn more, contact us today.