June Is Cataract Awareness Month
Cataracts are a common condition that can interfere with vision and make daily tasks, like reading and driving, difficult. Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process which means most people will be impacted by cataracts at some point in their life.
On that note, Dr. Walter Choate of Choate Eye Associates would like to point out that June is cataract awareness month. Serving Nashville, TN, Goodlettsville, TN, and Hendersonville, TN, Dr. Choate diagnoses and treats cataracts to help patients enjoy clearer vision for years to come.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are cloudy areas that form on the lenses of the eyes as a result of the proteins in the lenses breaking down. As the proteins break down, the lenses become more and more cloudy and eventually interfere with vision.
Cataracts are most commonly a result of the aging process, starting as early as 40 but usually not causing vision problems until the age of 60 or later.
Although most cataracts are age-related, they can also develop as a result of injury or they may be congenital and present during childhood.
Know the Signs of Cataracts
Knowing the signs of cataracts is essential for seeking treatment and taking steps to protect your vision. Some of the signs of cataracts include:
- Vision that has become cloudy
- It feels like you are looking through a fog
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Colors appear dull or faded
- Halos around lights
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Double vision
- Vision has become blurry or things look dim
- Frequently needing to increase the prescription strength of your eyeglasses or contact lenses
Reduce Your Risk
Cataracts are a common part of aging. While there is no cure, you may be able to lower your risk of developing severe cataracts and protect your vision. Some ways to reduce your risk include:
- Protect your eyes from the sun: Wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes from the sun whenever outside.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking may increase the risk of developing cataracts. Avoid smoking to lower your risk.
- Be mindful of your health: Certain health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity can increase the risk of developing cataracts. Maintaining good general health and keeping conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure under control can help lower the risk of cataracts.
- Schedule annual eye exams: Regular eye exams are an important way to monitor eye health and any cataract development or progression.
Cataracts can only be treated through surgery. With cataract surgery, the clouded lens is removed from the eye and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens or IOL.
Once an IOL is placed and the eye adjusts to the new lens, vision will be clear and no longer cloudy. Additionally, refractive errors can also be corrected with an IOL.
Schedule an Exam
Regular eye exams are essential for protecting eye health and vision. To schedule an eye exam or discuss your eye care needs, we welcome you to contact Choate Eye Associates.