Cataracts – What, Why and Treatment

Cataracts

What

Cataract- defined as a clouding of the lens in your eye. AAO.org stated, according to studies pulled in 2011, over 22 million Americans have cataracts by the age of 40 and by the age of 80 50% of the population has cataracts.

Why?

The long story short, your eye acts like the lens on a camera in the actions it takes in order to focus on what you are looking at. Your lens, like a camera, when you are young is flexible and moves easily to focus. As you get older, particularly after 45, the proteins in your eye start to break down and dis-allow your eye to be as fleixble causing a strain to focus and creating a cloudy lens. Catarcats can appear faster if you partake or have the following; diabetes, eye injuries, radiation exposure, smoke, UV light exposure, etc.

Treatment and Prevention

Always schedule at least 1 eye exam yearly, most insurance companies cover 1 exam per year. In the event of an eye injury or irritation, make an appointment with an optometrist and go to the hospital to reduce the long term damage of the injury. If you are diagnosed with a cataract early in its stages, your doctor may suggest you change your eyeglasses prescription or reading glasses strength, improve lighting at home, utilize magnifying lenses or readers, and utilize sunglasses to reduce the UV light exposure on your eyes.

Keep in mind, UV light is present all the time, not just in hot summer months. UV light is constantly around and can cause damage to your eyes unless you are very careful and use the appropriate protection.

Surgery is an option for cataracts, however 20/20 vision is not a guarantee after surgery especially if other eye conditions/ diseases are present.

Closing statement

  1. Always protect your eyes with sunglasses, sun reading glasses or other coverage options.
  2. Take advantage of your yearly visits to the eye doctor.
  3. Report and receive help for eye injuries or increased irritation .

 

Sources:

  • http://www.aao.org/newsroom/upload/Eye-Health-Statistics-April-2011.pdf
  •  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001996/#adam_001001.disease.causes

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