Prevent Blindness has designated June as cataract awareness month. Cataracts are the clouding of the eye’s lens, which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. The lens of the eye is located behind the pupil and the colored iris, and is normally transparent. The lens helps to focus images onto the retina – which transmits the images to the brain. Your vision may become blurry or dim because the cataract stops light from properly passing through to your retina.
Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness among older adults in the United States. More than half of all Americans have cataracts by the time they are 80 years old. Cataracts can also sometimes be found in young people or even newborn babies. The exact cause of a cataract is unknown. Most often, a cataract is part of getting older. As you age, you are at greater risk of developing a cataract.
The solution to cataracts is cataract surgery, which requires a surgeon to remove the deteriorated lens and replace it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens. Over 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery annually, making it one of the most common surgeries in the United States. In fact, the entire surgery lasts only about 20 minutes, and most people can resume normal activities fairly rapidly. Even so, early detection and prevention measures can help you avoid surgery. Start by coming into Bella Eye Care Optometry and having us conduct a thorough eye exam. Some ways to delay the progression of cataracts include avoiding smoking, reducing exposure to UV rays, eating healthy foods, and wearing proper eye protection to avoid eye injury.