In honor of Cataract Awareness Month, it will be wise to get your eyes checked. Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not cover optical care, but you may find great value in taking care of your eyes to avoid experiencing vision loss for something that may be highly treatable, like cataracts. Unlike some other eye diseases, losing your vision from having cataracts is something that can be restored. I’ve read that the success rate in this restoration is as high as 95%.
Cataracts are opaque spots on the lens of the eye. When it develops, the amount of light that’s transmitted is limited. Many eye diseases have no early symptoms, but some people with cataracts may experience clouded vision, see halos around lights, have double vision in one eye or have greater difficulty seeing at night. Those are just a few potential signs and symptoms of cataracts. It used to be the case where cataracts could severely impair vision, but with advances in technology, a laser surgery can be performed in about 15 minutes and have minimal time for recuperation. Following the surgical procedure, one can wear contact lenses, corrective lenses or special glasses and go on with their lives.
Some people find that they have inherited a genetic disorder and that’s why they have cataracts. Others may have had other eye conditions, diabetes or long-term steroid medications that may have caused the development of cataracts. People who are at risk of developing cataracts are older adults, those who drink excessive amounts of alcohol, smokers, diabetics, those who have had a previous eye surgery, and those with high blood pressure or who have excessive exposure to sunlight. Here are some steps we can take for health prevention of cataracts, some of which were from the Mayo Clinic:
- Have regular eye exams and get a comprehensive dilated eye exam every 1-2 years if you’re 65 or older, every 2-4 years if you’re 40-64 years old, and about every 2-5 years if you’re 20-39 years old
- Don’t smoke or quit smoking
- Manage health problems
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Reduce excessive alcohol intake
- Wear ultraviolet B ray sunglasses when you’re outside
Let’s take care of our eyes so we can continue to see this beautiful world we live in!