June is Cataract Awareness Month: Three Facts About Cataracts that May Surprise You

When a person goes blind, there usually is little to no way of turning it around. A cane, an animal, or a friend will do the “seeing” for people who have lost their vision due to different causes. Many who have gone blind try so hard to master their other remaining senses to compensate for what they have lost. Many Arizona ophthalmologists try to highlight the importance of prevention over treatment because blindness, whether caused by glaucoma or cataracts, would require surgery to correct (and only if it is correctable).Just last year, Prevent Blindness America, the organization that founded the Cataract Awareness Month, stated that there are over 22 million people in the United States who are 40 years of age and older who have have cataracts. It is the leading cause of blindness in the country, as well as vision loss in the world.

 

What are Cataracts?
As we age, the natural lens of our eyes generally cloud and lead to a decrease in the quality of our vision. When a person has a cataract, the experience is similar to looking through a foggy or dirty windshield.

 

Watch Out for Signs
If your vision becomes dim, blurry, or cloudy, particularly when objects or people you see become darker than what they used to be, then it is possible that you have developed a cataract in either or both your eyes.

The unfortunate part about cataracts is that they develop slowly, so individuals do not immediately notice any changes in their vision. As soon as the cataract progresses into its middle to later stages, that is when it starts interfering with a person’s day-to-day activities.

 

Three Facts About Cataracts

Fact #1:
Harmful UVA and UVB Rays Cause Serious Eye Damage (and a Higher Risk for Developing a Cataract)

Summer is just around the corner. People will be rushing with their friends and families to beaches, lakes, and pools to wash away the heat. However, when basking under the sun near the sand or beach, the light that comes from the sun reflects off the clear water and sand, magnifying the harmful rays of the sun. While your body can warn you of this phenomenon through burning sensation of the skin or freckles, headaches, and a dry mouth, your eyes sadly do not have that ability. The longer your eyes are exposed to the sun, the more damaging it will be for them. Without protection such as sunglasses and hats, you are increasing your chances of developing a cataract.

Fact #2: Your Eyes Need Water Too

Drinking plenty of water helps not only your body, but also your eyes stay hydrated during the brightest and hottest time of the year. Keep a water bottle in hand and drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.

Fact #3: Surgery is the Only Treatment for Cataract

Majority of cataract cases are caused by the normal aging process, which means they cannot be reversed. Medications such as eye drops and ointments do not have any effect on a cataract. The only way to resolve this kind of vision problem is through surgery.

 

What to Do

Do not hesitate to schedule a visit to any of the trusted Arizona ophthalmologists in your area. Have your eye doctor perform a complete eye exam, wait for the results and he or she will be able to determine whether a cataract or another eye problem is affecting your vision.