Vision loss in people over 40 is mostly linked to cataracts. Should you be worried?

Many reputable eye health experts will tell you that the cataract, which manifests itself as the clouding of the eye’s natural lenses, is the leading cause of blindness all over the world so you it’s no laughing matter. In fact, more than half of all Americans aged 65 and above have their vision impaired by cataracts. Losing one’s vision is a scary ordeal, no doubt, which is why it’s probably best to prepare yourself with proper information about cataracts instead of panicking or being caught unaware of the possibility. To help you with that, here are some of the basic facts about cataracts.

What do cataracts feel like?

According to sufferers of this condition, having cataracts feels like you’re looking through permanently fogged-up glasses. This makes many vision-related tasks such as reading or driving more difficult. You may also experience some sensitivity to light, with some sources seeming brighter than usual. On the other hand, colors might seem duller than usual.

How do you develop cataracts?

Cataracts develop slowly when protein builds-up in the eye’s lens makes it cloudy, preventing light from passing through the lens, therefore making it difficult to see things. Aside from naturally developing as you age, cataracts can also be congenital, complications from other medical conditions, or formed as a result of eye injury.

Cataract risk is also increased by smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, obesity, and significant exposure to ultraviolet radiation. The disease may also come as a side effect to prolonged or unmonitored used of certain medications. as well as to some treatment procedures.

How do you prevent or treat cataracts?

Eye doctors and other vision health experts still debate as to whether cataracts could actually be prevented altogether but certain studies have found that vitamin E and lutein-rich food and supplements may help decrease the risk of developing cataracts. Of course, improving one’s general health by maintaining a healthy diet, managing other health problems, protecting the eyes from UV rays, and quitting smoking may contribute to slowing the development of cataracts.

That said, while it’s still being questioned as to whether cataracts can truly be prevented, it’s still important to have regular eye examinations when you reach age 40. This is to ascertain whether your vision can still be aided by new prescription glasses, or if you’re a candidate for cataract treatment surgery.

It’s generally agreed upon that once it seems that your new eyeglasses aren’t improving your vision, surgery is currently the best treatment for cataracts. Cataract surgery, which involves taking out your clouded lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens (unless there are other existing eye problems where your doctor would suggest using contact lenses or eyeglasses instead), has a high success rate in the US and is typically done on an outpatient basis. This usually heals within 4-8 weeks.

It’s true that having cataracts is a difficult experience but being armed with information means that you know what to expect and also how to deal with the problem as it comes. And when eye problems like cataracts or macular degeneration are concerned, a reliable and experienced optometrist like Dr. Hetel Bhakta can treat your condition as well as offer you great advice on how to take care of your eyes.

Residents of Lantana, Boynton Beach, or Royal Palm Springs may visit Dr. Bhakta at Planet Vision Eyecare in Greenacres, Florida to purchase sunglasses, get eyewear prescriptions, or have vision problems treated and diagnosed.