June is Cataract Awareness Month!
Approximately 25 million Americans have cataracts, which is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Cataracts may cause cloudy, blurry, or dim vision and often develops with advancing age. If not treated, cataracts can lead to blindness. In addition, the longer cataracts are left untreated, the more difficult it can be to successfully remove the cataract and restore vision. During Cataract Awareness Month in June, Giliberti Eye and Laser Center and the American Academy of Ophthalmology reminds the public that early detection and treatment of cataracts is critical to preserving sight!
As everyone grows older, the lenses of their eyes thicken and become cloudier. Eventually, they may find it more difficult to read street signs. Colors may seem dull. These symptoms may signal cataracts, which affect about 70 percent of people by age 75. Fortunately, cataracts can be corrected with surgery. The following are facts people should know about the condition.
- Age isn’t the only risk factor for cataracts. Though most everyone will develop cataracts with age, recent studies show that lifestyle and behavior can influence when and how severely you develop cataracts. Diabetes, extensive exposure to sunlight, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and certain ethnicities have all been linked to increased risk of cataracts. Eye injuries, prior eye surgery, and long-term use of steroid medication can also result in cataracts. If you have any of these or other risk factors, talk to Dr. Giliberti during your next appointment.
- Cataracts cannot be prevented, but you can lower your risk. Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and brimmed hats when outside can help. Several studies suggest that eating more vitamin C-rich foods may delay how fast cataracts form. Also, avoid smoking cigarettes, which have been shown to increase the risk of cataract development.
- Surgery may help improve more than just your vision. During the procedure, the natural clouded lens is replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens, which should improve your vision significantly. Patients have a variety of lenses to choose from, each with different benefits. Studies have shown that cataract surgery can improve quality of life. If cataracts are interfering with your ability to see well, consider asking Dr. Giliberti about cataract surgery.