Three Things Patients Should Know About Cataracts
Cataract awareness…hmmm…what does that mean exactly…wouldn’t someone know if they have cataracts or not?
I get asked that question all the time and more times than not, the answer is “no”.
Take Billy for instance, one of my golfing buddies and close friends. While he didn’t mention any vision problems, once I saw him in the office and told him he had cataracts, he was almost relieved that there was a reason for not being able to see his golf ball as well as in the past.
So this blog is for all my friends and family and patients who are over 50. Don’t take your precious eyesight for granted. The cataract process starts in all of us by age 50 and there are a few facts we should know about cataracts:
- 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, come see us.
- 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. Cataract surgery is outpatient, painless, and highly successful with minimal recovery time. Studies have shown that cataract surgery can improve quality of life in all areas.
A life-changing surgery
For Billy, life now is so much better. “I see perfectly! In fact, I cannot remember seeing this well. I no longer need glasses except to read. As a medical doctor, being able to operate without the need for glasses has been amazing. And my golf game…well let’s just say its a work in progress!”
How about you…overdue? Like many conditions, cataracts can gradually worsen vision and the changes over time can be subtle. All it takes is a brief eye examination to determine if you have anything to worry about.
Life is short. Let us help you to see your best.
From our family to yours…happy summer!