June 2021: Cataract Awareness Month



What are Cataracts?

A cataract is when your eye's natural lens becomes cloudy. Proteins in your lens break down and cause things to look blurry, hazy or less colorful.


Why Cataract Awareness Month?

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States and blindness in the world. More than 24 million Americans over the age of 40 are affected by cataracts, so it’s fitting to have an entire month dedicated to education and awareness.


Do cataracts only affect seniors?

No, cataracts can affect anyone! Although most people do not show symptoms of cataracts until around the age of 40, it can also affect young adults or children as well. Heredity, disease, eye injury and smoking could cause cataracts to develop at an earlier age.


What is the treatment for cataracts?

The solution to treat cataracts is cataract surgery, which requires a surgeon to remove the deteriorated lens and replace it with an artificial lens (intraocular lens). The surgery lasts around 20 minutes and most people can resume normal activities fairly quickly. It has a success rate of over 95%. Over 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery annually.


Can I prevent cataracts?

While there is no proven way to prevent age-related cataracts, fulfilling a healthy lifestyle can slow the progression of cataracts. Avoid smoking, reduce exposure to UV rays, eat healthy foods, and wear proper eye protection to prevent cataracts and eye injury.


Sources

Your Sight Matters: https://yoursightmatters.com/june-cataract-awareness-month

American Academy of Ophthalmology: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-cataracts




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