June is Cataract Awareness month and for many people, they may not even know what exactly cataracts are or the damaging effects that cataracts can have on their vision. While cataracts may not seem like something to be alarmed by, according to All About Vision, “cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world”. In America alone over 22 million people suffer from cataracts and many people never know that they prevent cataracts to maintain their clear sight for years to come. These numbers are quite staggering, but by first understanding what cataracts are, the symptoms, and ways of prevention- people can help decrease these statistics and keep their vision.
What are Cataracts
Cataracts are the clouding of the eye’s natural lens behind the iris and pupil. An eye’s lens helps focus an image or even light to the retina. The retina helps send signals to the brain so we can see. But if that lens is cloudy it blocks what can be sent to the retina and instead of seeing clearly we see blurred images. Cataracts can occur in one eye or both and are more common with age.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Cataracts are usually slow progressing and there are several different symptoms that can occur with cataracts. Below are some of the top signs of cataracts that if you are experiencing, you should contact your eye doctor immediately:
Foggy, cloudy, or blurry vision
Problems driving at night from glare from oncoming headlights
Colors appear different and do not appear the same
Problems with glare during the day
Sudden changes in glasses prescription
Many doctors believe there are different ways to be preventative with cataracts. One of the first preventative measures is to have regular eye exams. When you have regular eye exams, your eye doctor can detect cataracts in the earliest of stages. Another key to preventing cataracts is to avoid smoking or excessive alcohol consumption. Both of these have been found to increase the risk of cataracts. Not only can alcohol or smoking increase your chance of getting cataracts but not maintaining your health can as well. Those who do not keep medical conditions such as diabetes treated or those who are obese, are more likely to get cataracts. Simply maintaining your health, exercising, and eating a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables can also help prevent cataracts. A healthy diet filled with Omega 3 fatty acids have even been know to slow the progression of cataracts. The last way of prevention is to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light from the sun. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection and polarization can help prevent the development of cataracts.
Cataracts can not only cause distorted vision, but even blindness. During Cataract Awareness month, understanding what cataracts are, symptoms, and ways to prevent cataracts can not only help you maintain your healthy eyesight but help you inform others about the dangers of cataracts. For more information on cataracts and cataract prevention contact Vision Source Specialists today. We also offer two types of Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplements, which can help slow the progression of cataracts. Our experienced doctors can help you continue preventing cataracts and also identify measures to treat cataracts and keep your vision safe.