Important Facts About Cataracts

Did you know? Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss?

Cataracts are the most common reason people lose vision. Cataracts are also the number one most diagnosed condition for aging eyes.  By age 65, over 90 percent of people have a cataract and half of the people between the ages of 75 and 85 have lost some vision due to a cataract. 

There is a 90% chance of getting a cataract.

Most people start to develop cataracts in their 40s, but they usually don’t affect vision until people are well into their 60’s. Aside from aging, there are other risk factors to increase your chances of getting cataracts.

  • Family history.
  • Previous eye injury.
  • Too much sun exposure.
  • As a result of some types of radiation, such as X-rays.
  • Smoking.
  • Poor diet.

How Can We Reduce Our Chances of Having Cataracts?

We can’t avoid the natural aging process of the eyes, which can lead to cataracts. Research has found that diseases such as diabetes have been linked to a higher risk for cataracts.

Reduce your cataract risks by doing the following:

  • Do not smoke.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Protect your eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet rich in green leafy vegetables.
  • Limit steroid use, if possible.

What are the symptoms of a cataract?

Cataracts develop gradually as we age. Therefore, most of us do not notice signs or changes in your vision when cataracts first start to develop. However, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it might be a wise decision to have your eyes examined:

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Difficulty reading in low light
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Inability to distinguish bright colors

What to expect when diagnosed with Cataracts.

  • Yearly eye exams are extremely important – especially after a cataract diagnosis
  • Sunglasses are a must.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoke is a key risk factor for cataracts.
  • Use a magnifier and bright lights to read.
  • Limit your night driving.
  • If you have diabetes and develop cataracts, be sure to control your diabetes.
  • When normal daily activities get difficult to complete, consider cataract surgery.
  • Make an informed decision about cataract surgery. Have a discussion with your ophthalmologist about your cataract surgery options.

Cataracts can be safely and effectively treated with surgery.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest, with a nearly 98% success rate. More than 3 million cataract procedures are performed in the United States per year.

During cataract surgery, your eye surgeon will remove your eye’s cloudy natural lens and will replace it with an artificial lens. When you decide to have cataract surgery, your doctor will talk with you about Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) and how they work.

An intraocular lens (or IOL) is a tiny, silicone or acrylic lens that is used to replace the eye’s natural lens that is removed during cataract surgery. Many who undergo cataract surgery with an upgraded IOL experiences a severe reduction in their dependence on glasses after cataract surgery.

To learn more about cataracts, symptoms of cataracts, living with cataracts, and surgical treatment of cataracts, please call our office today at 781-251-2222.

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