You may notice that it’s more difficult to read your favorite book or follow a recipe without brighter light. You might find that colors now seem muted, faded or yellowed and lack the vibrancy they once had. Worst of all, the faces of your loved ones may seem hazy.
What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are a curable, age-related, degenerative condition that affects one in six Americans 40 and older and one-half of all Americans by age 70. As the leading cause of vision loss among people 55 and older, cataracts affect over 20.5 million people in the United States.
Cataracts are caused by the clouding of the lens from oxidative stress and free radical damage. A healthy lens is made of water and protein, arranged in a specific pattern to refract light that passes through it. But years of exposure to UV radiation from the sun and environmental toxins can cause proteins in the lens to clump together and interfere with light refraction.
Long-Term Effects of Cataracts
As time passes, the cataract will grow, and the clouded area of the lens will spread, gradually blurring the visual field. Many people describe having cataracts as looking at the world through a smudged window. If cataracts go untreated, they can eventually cause total vision loss.
Cataracts are treatable through cataract surgery, one of the most common and successful procedures performed today. In less than 30 minutes, a doctor can remove the clouded lens and replace it with a customized, prescription lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).
An IOL will become a permanent part of the eye and won’t ever deteriorate, so choose the one that will best enhance your vision. IOLs can correct near, distance or intermediate vision (or a combination), and astigmatism. It’s even possible for an eye surgeon to perform cataract surgery in conjunction with other eye procedures like glaucoma surgery.
After cataract surgery, patients notice that their vision is clearer, and they have a renewed sense of independence to perform activities like driving at night. Some people can enjoy 20/20 vision again, and others even find that they don’t need glasses anymore. Cataract surgery can allow some to do intricate crafts or detailed tasks they had given up years ago. And best of all, they’ll be able to see the expressions and features on the faces of those they love.
Don’t miss a moment of what life has to offer. Talk to your ophthalmologist about the benefits of cataract surgery, and share this video with someone else. Cataracts are a curable condition, so schedule an appointment for a complete eye exam and consultation.