Cataract Awareness – Know the Facts
June is Cataract Awareness Month. Most people will develop a cataract at some point in their life. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision impairment of loss in this country. Did you know by the age of 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery?
What happens when you have a cataract?
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye, which prevents the passage of light into the eye. Seeing with cataracts is like looking through a frosty or fogged window. Cataract sufferers may also experience sensitivity to light, see “halos” around lights, notice fading or yellowing colors or have double vision in one eye.
The solution to cataracts is cataract surgery, which requires a surgeon to remove the deteriorated lens and replace it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens or IOL.
There are over 3 million cataract surgeries performed in the US each year with each surgery lasting about 20 minutes. Recovery time is minimal and most people can resume normal activities fairly rapidly.
Diseases such as diabetes, lifestyle choices such as smoking, excessive alcohol use, and prolonged exposure to UV rays all can contribute to your chances of developing cataracts.
Did you know there are other types of cataracts?
- Secondary cataract. Cataracts can form after surgery for other eye problems, such as glaucoma. Cataracts also can develop in people who have other health problems, such as diabetes. Cataracts are sometimes linked to steroid use.
- Traumatic cataract. Cataracts can develop after an eye injury, sometimes years later.
- Congenital cataract. Some babies are born with cataracts or develop them in childhood, often in both eyes. These cataracts may be so small that they do not affect vision. If they do, the lenses may need to be removed.
- Radiation cataract. Cataracts can develop after exposure to some types of radiation.
Annual eye exams to include dilation can detect the onset of cataracts, as well as other types of eye disease. These preventive measures, along with healthy eating will help to maintain overall eye health. Call 724-444-6767 or 724-226-0444 to schedule your exam today!
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.