Did you know, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world? Cataracts affect nearly 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older.* Therefore, if you are over the age of 40, you should have a yearly comprehensive eye exam to detect cataracts as they develop.
A cataract is the clouding of the lens in your eye. Additionally, many people describe it as if you are looking through a foggy or frosted window.
What causes cataracts?
Clouding of the lens in your eye is caused by proteins clumping together within the lens. It is unknown why the eye changes as the body ages, but these changes may cause them to grow larger over time. Then, result in unclear vision. Furthermore, diabetes, obesity, smoking, ultraviolet radiation, and family history can influence your development of cataracts.
Symptoms vary from person to person. However, there are a few key symptoms associated with most cases.
• Slight blur in vision
• Vision is cloudy
• Sunlight or lamps feel too bright
• Headlights have more glare and/or a halo around them
• Colors no longer appear as bright as they once did
Types of cataracts
Subcapsular cataracts typically occur in the back of the lens. Most commonly found in individuals with diabetes or those taking a high dose of steroid medication.
Nuclear cataracts are associated with aging and occur in the central zone of the lens.
Cortical cataracts are in the lens cortex and interfere with light passage through the eye.
Congenital cataracts are present at birth and may be due to genetics or intrauterine infection.
Are cataracts preventable?
No studies have shown a way to prevent cataracts. However, there are recommended practices to help maintain eye health and lower your risk of developing cataracts.
• Yearly comprehensive eye exams help maintain eye health. Additionally, they detect cataracts at an early stage.
• Smoking can increase your risk for cataracts. Therefore, quitting smoking provides a variety of health benefits including lowering your risk for cataract development.
• Keeping up with treatment if you have diabetes or other medical conditions will help minimize your risk.
• Maintaining a healthy diet, including fruits and vegetables, provides increased overall eye health.
• Prevent ultraviolet radiation damage and the development of cataracts through the use of sunglasses.
If you would like to view a short video on cataracts you can visit our additional resource page: /eye-disease/cataracts/
Please call our office if you have further questions on cataracts or any other eye disease or condition. Our core focus at Advanced Eyecare Professionals is “To Provide Exceptional Vision Care & Education.” Our doctors and staff are always happy to answer any questions, and provide additional education on specific eye diseases or conditions during your appointment.
*National Eye Institute (https://nei.nih.gov)