Have you noticed that your vision has become cloudy, or that you have trouble seeing in dark settings? These are signs of cataracts. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States; however, vision loss due to cataracts is reversible!
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which blocks or changes the light that passes into the eye. Cataract surgery is one of the most common types of eye surgery with a 95% success rate. Recent studies have also shown that cataract surgery patients have a significantly reduced rate of bone fractures from falls.
Some of the signs of cataracts are:
• Blurred vision, double vision, a sense of film over the eyes or ghost images.
• Reading, working or driving in low light is difficult.
• Changing your prescription for your eyes often and the changes may not seem to help.
• A milky or yellowish spot in the pupil.
• Halos around lights.
• Sensitivity to light.
If you have these symptoms it may be time to talk to your doctor. Cataracts are caused by natural aging. Old, dead cells build up in the lens of your eyes, causing them to become cloudy. As light passes through the lens, your sight becomes distorted causing your vision to be degraded. Cataracts often develop slowly over a period of years before they are formed enough for an individual to notice them.
If you are diagnosed with cataracts there is good news. This is one form of vision loss that is reversible. Surgeons are able to remove the deteriorated lens and replace it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens. Annually over 3 million Americans undergo surgery to correct cataracts with a 95% success. The surgery is short and lasts only about 20-25 minutes and most people are able to return to a normal, clearer life in a short amount of time.
There is no way to prevent cataracts other than living a healthy lifestyle. You can help to avoid the progression of cataracts by avoiding smoking, reducing exposure to UV rays by wearing sunglasses, eating a healthy balanced diet and wearing proper eye protection to avoid eye injuries.
About the author: John D. Bissell, owner of Bissell Eye Care and Tri-State Low Vision Services, offers comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family, ocular disease detection and treatment, eye glasses, sun glasses, active wear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. He has undergone specialized training for treatment of low vision by the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists utilizing customized telescopic eyeglasses, prisms and telescopic implants for patients who qualify. The practice accepts most types of vision and health insurance plans.