In the United States, this month is Cataract Awareness Month. Did you know that cataracts are the main culprit of vision loss among patients who are over 55 years old? Actually, more than fifty percent of those aged 65 and older have some degree of cataract development. As stated by the National Eye Institute, by age 80, more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or had cataract surgery.
So what exactly is a cataract? A cataract is a fogging of the eye's lens; one which limits or affects the passage of light into the eye. Cataracts are a natural part of aging. Other potential causes for developing a cataract include diabetes, obesity, family history, steroid use, smoking and eye injuries.
During the early stages of cataract development, brighter lighting and eyewear could be used to reduce the vision problems you might experience. At some point, though, a surgical procedure may be necessary in order to fix your vision. It's worth nothing that more than 90 percent of patients who have cataract surgery recover great vision.
If you are in your 50s and experiencing low vision, it may be time to discuss cataracts with your eye doctor. Cataracts are treatable, and we know you want to have good vision throughout your golden years.