Cataract Awareness Month

Preventing blindness is so important. I didn’t know that cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness. A couple of years ago my eye doctor told me that I had cataracts. They were not very far along, but I was shocked to have them at the age of 55. My cataracts seem to be growing slowly, so I’ve not needed surgery yet. We all need to be aware of cataracts and how to prevent blindness.

Cataracts are usually found in elderly patients. More than half of 80 year olds have cataracts. High risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Intense heat or long-term exposure to UV rays from the sun
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes
  • Inflammation in the eye
  • Hereditary influences
  • Events before birth, such as German measles in the mother
  • Long-term steroid use
  • Eye injuries
  • Eye diseases
  • Smoking

What are cataracts? When the eye’s lens gets cloudy, it limits the amount of light that can get in. The lens of the eye is normally transparent. When it becomes cloudy, the light can’t properly pass through to the retina. This cloudiness is caused by older cells building up.

eye exam

If your vision becomes cloudy or blurred, you should have your eyes checked. Sometimes cataracts will cause lights to have a halo around them or a patient might also be sensitive to bright light. An eye doctor will need to check eyes with dilation in order to look for cataracts.

There are no eye drops or medications that can stop cataracts. Surgery is the only way to correct this eye problem. This surgery has a 95% success rate. I anticipate that I will undergo this surgery at some point.

Because many older people suffer from hazardous falls, having good vision is necessary to prevent them. Already having had a serious fall myself, I’m going to be very anxious to get this surgery done before my vision gets bad.

I urge everyone to have their eyes checked regularly and always have their eyes dilated when the doctor suggests it. Even though I react negatively to dilation drops, that won’t stop me from having my eyes dilated each visit. I want to prevent any damage to my eyes from cataracts or any other problem.

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert. This post contains my opinions and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please consult your personal physician.

@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman

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