More than 24 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts. So it is more important than ever to spread awareness of this leading cause of blindness worldwide, according to Prevent Blindness. As such, June has been designated as Cataract Awareness Month, an annual observation that aims to educate the public about cataracts.
This clouding of the eye’s lens blocks or changes how light travels into the eye. There is hope: vision loss due to cataract can be restored, unlike many other eye diseases. Cataract surgery is a common solution to the millions of older Americans who suffer from cataracts, boasting a 95 percent success rate. Studies show that patients who underwent cataract surgery had a
significantly reduced chance of developing hip fractures as a result of falls.
Cataracts don’t typically cause pain, redness or tears. But, be on the lookout for these changes in your vision that could signal you have cataracts:
- Blurred vision, double vision, ghost images or a "film" over the eyes.
- Lights seem too low for reading or detail work, yet you are taken aback by strong light.
- Switching eyeglass prescriptions often, yet it doesn’t seem to do much to help your
- You may notice the cataract in your eye, with a milky or yellowish spot within the pupil.
Colors seem faded.
- A halo may appear around lights.
- Poor night vision.
- Double vision or multiple images in one eye.
Cataracts are common. They don’t usually lead to permanent vision loss, unless you leave them unchecked. To avoid this situation, it’s important to see your eye doctor for a routine exam every year, as well as a dilated eye exam to check for cataracts specifically.
Most cataracts are related to aging, as they are very common in older people. In fact, by age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery, according to the National Eye Institute.
Cataracts affect the lens which lies behind the iris and the pupil, focusing light onto the retina to record an image. This lens is comprised of water and protein. However, as we get older, those proteins clump together to cloud a small area of the lens. That spot – the cataract – can grow over the years, obstructing your vision even further.
Anyone can develop cataracts, but there are some risk factors, including:
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes
- Personal behavior, such as smoking and alcohol use
- The environment, such as prolonged exposure to UV sunlight
Contact Simon Eye Associates
Make your appointment for a cataract consultation by calling Simon Eye Associates today at
302-239-1933 or completing our online form. We have several convenient locations throughout
Delaware for you to choose from.