It’s been estimated that approximately 22 million Americans over the age of 40 are affected by cataracts. Since the statistics are so startling, everybody should take the time to learn the facts about cataracts, as well as how to prevent them.
What is a Cataract?
The natural lens of the eye is normally clear and focuses light, so that images are sharp and clear. But over time, proteins develop and accumulate on the lens, causing the eye to become cloudy. This is called a cataract.
Cataracts prevent light from passing through the lens evenly, and as a result the light is scattered, causing blurry vision. Other symptoms include difficulty seeing at night, sensitivity to light, and trouble reading.
Most cataracts form due to changes that take place with the lens as a result of aging. However, risk factors include excessive exposure to the sun’s UV light, as well as eye trauma, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, and medications such as steroids.
Cataract eye surgery is the usual treatment for cataracts. This is an outpatient procedure that involves the replacement of the natural lens with an artificial lens implant, usually an intraocular lens (IOL). The procedure is quite safe and generally produces good results. Most people experience improved quality of vision after surgery, and the complication rate is low.
Eating foods rich in vitamins C and E, as well as zinc, beta carotene, and omega 3 fatty acids, can help to keep eyes healthy and prevent cataracts. It is also important to avoid the risk factors outlined above.
Now that you know the facts about cataracts, be sure to make regular visits to your opthalmologist, because early detection is important. Clients in the greater Baltimore area can contact Envision Eye and Laser Center, Bowie, MD. Call (301) 805-4664 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Renee Bovelle.