August is "Cataract Awareness" Month
What is a Cataract?If your vision has become cloudy or things you see are not as bright as they used to be, a cataract may have developed in one or both of your eyes. A cataract is a clouding of the eye's naturally clear lens. Your eye becomes like a window that is frosted or yellowed.
The amount and pattern of cloudiness within the lens can vary. If the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens, you may not be aware that a cataract is present.
What are the symptoms of a cataract?
The only way to know if you have a cataract for certain is when your ophthalmologist (eye doctor) does a dilated exam. Get a baseline exam at age 40, when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur. For more information on cataract symptoms, click here.
How is a cataract treated?
If your vision is only slightly blurry, a change in your eyeglass prescription may help for a while. However, if you are still not able to see well enough to do the things you like or need to do after the change in eyeglass prescription, cataract surgery should be considered. For more information on cataract surgery, click here.
There are many misconceptions about cataracts. A cataract is not:
- A growth or film over the eye;
- A cause of irreversible blindness;
- A result of overusing the eyes;
- A contagious disease spread from eye to eye or person to person;
Cataracts are a common cause of vision loss, especially as we age, but they are treatable. Your ophthalmologist can tell you whether a cataract or some other problem is the cause of your vision loss and can help you decide if cataract surgery is appropriate for you.
For more information, click here