Cataracts are really common in the U.S., with about 200,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to Mayo Clinic. Fortunately, cataract surgery has high rates of success and safety, offering a means of restoring a person’s vision by removing the cataract and placing an implantable lens. Below, see facts about cataracts.
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of impaired vision and blindness worldwide.
Other global causes are undiagnosed or unaddressed refractive errors and glaucoma. In the U.S., diabetic retinopathy is another leading cause of blindness.
Sunglasses may help reduce your risk for getting cataracts.
UV rays can lead to damage that increases the risk of cataracts. Wearing sunglasses will reduce the risk. Couple sunglasses with a wide-brim hat for maximum protection. Choose a pair of sunglasses that provides good coverage (trendy square lenses may not provide the contour needed to block out all the sun), and that block out 99.9% of UV rays.
Cataracts can develop at any age.
It’s true that cataracts become much more common with age. According to the National Institutes of Health, over half of Americans age 80 or older either have cataracts or have had cataract surgery. But it’s not uncommon for cataracts to begin developing around age 40, gradually progressing to the point that they cause noticeable symptoms a couple decades later. It’s not impossible to get cataracts before then, and even more rare but still possible is to be born with cataracts.
Cataracts often develop “silently.”
Cataracts progress in stages. In the very earliest stages, cataracts are unlikely to cause noticeable vision loss. You are unlikely to see any opacity and cloudiness when you look at your eyes in a mirror. Vision loss and cloudiness will develop gradually over the years. In later stages, a person with cataracts may think their glasses are cloudy or their eyes irritated when in fact a cataract is causing blurriness.
Cataract Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment
If you are interested in learning more about your eye health and vision, and if you are interested in cataract prevention and diagnosis, please contact Kirk Eye Center in Loveland, CO, at 970-669-1107. Our experienced eye doctors are passionate about helping people find answers to troubling eye and vision symptoms.