There are over 24 million Americans over the age of 40 who are affected by cataracts, so it only seems appropriate that an entire month should be dedicated to education and awareness.
What are cataracts?
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye, which prevents passage of light into the eye. Having a cataract is like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things look blurry, hazy and less colorful when a cataract is present.
What is the treatment for cataracts?
The solution to cataracts is cataract surgery, which requires an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) to make a small incision on your cornea, remove the cloudy, deteriorated lens and replace it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens or IOL. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the United States, as over 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery annually.
Is cataract removal safe?
Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgeries with a success rate of 95 percent. The surgery lasts only about 15-20 minutes, and is conducted in an outpatient surgery center.
Do cataracts only affect seniors?
Cataracts do not discriminate and can affect anyone. While most people do not show symptoms of cataracts until at least the age of 40, cataracts can also affect young adults and even children. Certain factors can cause cataracts to develop an earlier age: Heredity, disease, eye injury and smoking—to name a few.
Can I prevent cataracts?
Unfortunately, as we get older, cataracts start to form, and there is no proven way to prevent them. However, you can slow the progression by choosing to live a healthy lifestyle and eating well, not smoking, and reducing exposure to sunlight by wearing UVA/UVB protective eyewear to ensure that your eyes are as healthy as they can be.