Prevent Blindness America, an outreach program that brings eye care to Americans with a high risk of vision loss, has declared June Cataract Awareness Month! Cataracts affect more than 20 million people over the age of 40 in the United States. It is also the leading cause of blindness. These are some of the reasons why it is so important for everyone to understand what cataracts are, how they form, and how to treat them.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are caused by a protein buildup on the lens of the eye. As the condition worsens, the lens becomes milky, and eyesight is diminished. Everything begins to look hazy, cloudy, and less colorful. Eventually, the condition can cause serious vision problems that prevent the patient from working and living as they once did.
How Are Cataracts Treated?
Cataracts are common, but they are also easy to treat. Once the condition gets to the point where it is starting to affect the patient’s ability to live and work, an ophthalmologist will usually recommend surgery. The procedure involves removing the cloudy lens and applying a clear artificial replacement known as an intraocular lens. The entire process usually takes 20 minutes. Many patients report a relatively short recovery time, usually a few days.
How Can I Keep My Vision Clear?
It’s always best to keep your vision as clear as possible before a problem appears. There is no way to stop age-related cataracts from forming, but you can slow progression and lower risk with a healthy lifestyle. Reduce UV ray exposure, don’t smoke, eat nutritious foods and always wear eye protection when playing sports or engaging in activities that could cause injury. Talk to your ophthalmologist to learn more about keeping your eyes healthy. Schedule an appointment with your Eye Michigan doctor today!