Cataracts Awareness Month: Have You Booked Your next Eye Examination in Olive Branch, MS?
A surprising number of adults aren't aware that cataracts are the primary culprit for sight loss in people 55 and over. In fact, over 50% of senior citizens have some degree of cataract development.
What are cataracts?
Cataracts occur when the ocular lens becomes clouded. The clouding prohibits the passage of light that is essential for vision.
How do I know I have cataracts?
Cataracts can often be brushed off as typical age-related vision decline, yet there are certain signs that distinguish them. Depending on the type of cataract, you may experience blurred vision, increased glare from sun light or artificial light or a noticeable dullness of colors. Some cataracts show no signs until they are well developed while others may even show signs of what is known as second sight'' or a temporary improvement in near vision.
There are three main types of cataracts which are differentiated by where they are found within the lens. A subcapsular cataract is found at the back of the lens. Subcapsular cataracts are particularly common in people that have diabetes, high farsightedness or retinitis pigmentosa or are taking high doses of steroids. A nuclear cataract is a cataract located at the nucleus or center of the lens and is typically a result of aging. The third type of cataract, a cortical cataract typically starts in the cortex of the lens, the part encircling the nucleus. Cortical cataracts often start off with cloudy blotches that start in the periphery of the lens and gradually spread toward the center.
Cataract Prevention and Treatment
Researchers have not yet determined surefire ways to avoid the development of cataracts but some say that reducing UV exposure your eyes from UV rays with sunglasses can reduce cataract development. Some studies indicate that taking antioxidants and limited salt consumption can also prevent development.
During the initial stages, eyeglasses can help treat loss of sight, however, at some point vision may be impaired to a level to require surgical treatment. Surgery for cataracts is actually the most frequently performed surgery in America and is typically quite successful. Generally, the doctor removes the lens and replaces it with a clear plastic lens called an IOL (intraocular lens). In nine out of 10 patients, nearly perfect vision is achieved.
To ensure early diagnosis and treatment it is important to book an annual eye exam to check for signs of eye diseases such as cataracts. Contact our Olive Branch, MS optometry practice today to book your exam.