A cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye. It is one of the leading causes of blindness among older adults in theUnited States. Chances are you will get a cataract at some point in your lifetime.
So who’s at risk? Here is a list from Prevent Blindness of America of those at risk for a cataract. As you age, the risk of developing a cataract increases.
- Intense heat or long-term exposure to UV rays from the sun
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes
- Inflammation of the eye
- Hereditary influences
- Events before birth
- Long-term steroid use
- Eye injuries
- Eye diseases
What are the symptoms to watch out for? Generally there is no pain involved with a cataract. Instead the following symptoms may be due to the development of a cataract.
- Blurred vision, double vision, ghost images, or the sense of “film” over your eyes
- Lights seem too dim for reading or close-up work, or you are “dazzled” by strong light.
- You change eyeglass prescriptions often and the change does not seem to help your vision.
- You may also be able to see the cataract in your eye. It may look like a milky or yellowish spot on the pupil.
Did you know there are different types of cataracts? Technically cataracts can happen at any age but out of the four types age related is the most common.
- Age related: 95% of cataracts happen over the age of 40
- Congenital: Present at birth, usually caused by infection, inflammation during pregnancy or inherited.
- Traumatic: Lens damage from a hard blow, puncture, intense heat, or chemical burn
- Secondary: Some medicines, eye diseases, eye infections, or diseases such as diabetes can cause cataracts.
So, what if I have a cataract and my doctor is recommending surgery? Cataract surgery is one of the most common eye surgeries. In theU.S.alone more that two million surgeries are performed. Here is a little sample video on what cataract surgery may be like for you:
Cataracts may be able to be prevented. Being a non-smoker, wearing UV protection in the form of sunglasses, and getting your yearly comprehensive vision exam is the key. When’s the last time you had an eye exam? Call us today at 715-381-1234!