Your eyes undergo various changes as you age, which can increase your risk of cataract development. As we observe Cataracts Awareness Month this June, your optometrist from 20/20 Image Eye Centers shares four facts you need to know about this eye problem.
1. Cataracts Are Often a Product of the Aging Process
The natural lenses of your eyes are mostly composed of water and protein. The rate of protein breakdown in your body hastens as you grow older, leading to protein clumps on the surface of your lenses. While increasing age is a major risk factor, researchers explain that cataracts may also be present at birth. They may also form as a complication of other eye illnesses, trauma or surgeries. They are common among those who are exposed to radiation, as well.
2. Cataracts Are a Leading Cause of Visual Impairment
Cataracts block light rays from entering your eyes. This may result in cloudy or hazy vision, similar to when you’re looking through a dusty windshield. Your optometrist adds that cataracts are recognized as a primary cause of low vision among the adult population in both developed and developing countries.
3. Cataracts Are the Leading Cause of Vision Loss Worldwide
During the early stages of cataract formation, you may not experience any visual changes. As your cataracts become more severe, however, they may start compromising your vision. This may affect not only your daily efficiency but also your safety. Without proper management, cataracts may even cause blindness. In fact, more than half of the reported cases of vision loss are due to cataracts, making it the top sight-threatening condition.
4. Cataracts Can Be Removed Surgically
Minor cataracts can be treated through eyeglasses with a higher prescription. Once the cataracts are causing significant vision restrictions, your optometrist may recommend removing them surgically. Your eye care specialist will remove the damaged lenses and replace them with artificial ones, known as intraocular lenses or IOL.
To learn more about cataracts, fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve various AZ areas, including Scottsdale, Tempe and Glendale.