A cataract is a normal condition usually brought about by age. The lens of the eye becomes cloudy and impacts your ability to see clearly. Although cataracts are a very common condition, many people know very little about them.
There is no way to completely prevent cataracts from developing but there are ways you can proactively protect yourself. Let’s look at five things you need to know about cataracts:
- Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the worldMore than 20 million Americans have cataracts and they are the leading cause of vision loss in the world. By age 80, over half of all Americans will be affected by cataracts.
- Lifestyle choice affect your risk for developing cataractsSince cataracts are often brought about by age there is no foolproof way to prevent them but you can lower your risk. Always make sure you protect your eyes from the sun by wearing a hat and sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection. And avoid habits like smoking or abusing alcohol as both can contribute to your risk of developing cataracts.
- You can get cataracts at any ageThe reason many people know so little about cataracts is partly due to the fact that cataracts are often seen as a disease that only affects the elderly. Some babies have been born with cataracts and it is possible to get them as a result of an eye injury or from surgery for another eye problem.
- Your risk of getting cataracts doubles past age 40Even though you can develop cataracts at all ages, it is still a primarily age-related condition. You can begin developing age-related cataracts as early as your forties, although they most likely won’t begin to affect your vision immediately.
- Cataract surgery has a very high success rateAnytime you are considering surgery it is normal to feel a certain amount of fear and uncertainty. But if you are considering cataract surgery you can rest assured that it is an incredibly safe procedure with over a 96 percent success rate.
You will be given local anesthetic, a small incision, and absolutely no stitches. Your surgeon will simply remove your lens, clean it out, and insert the new lens implant. The entire surgery takes less than 15 minutes.
Are you currently living with cataracts or concerned about some symptoms you have been experiencing? Schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to learn more about managing your cataracts or cataract surgery.