Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. They occur when the lens of the eye is cloudy and can be present at birth or as a result of injury or aging. Symptoms are varied and may include, among other indications, blurred vision, cloudy vision, light sensitivity and double vision. And while more than half of all Americans will have cataracts by age 80, cataracts are treatable. Early detection and treatment are key.
If it turns out you need surgery for cataracts, the procedure is outpatient and takes less than an hour. During the surgery, the doctor removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial lens. After this routine procedure, your doctor might recommend an eye patch and an eye drop prescription to prevent infection. Your vision should improve within a few days and within eight weeks your eye should be fully healed. If it ends up that you need surgery for cataracts in both eyes, surgeries are usually scheduled for separate days.
General tips for keeping your eyes healthy:
1. Schedule regular eye checkups, and make sure you keep these important appointments!
2. Call your eye doctor before your annual visit if you have noticeable changes in your vision or changes in the look of your eyes (such as a changes in the color of the iris).
3. Visit your family physician to make sure high blood pressure and diabetes are being monitored and treated, as both can affect vision.
4. Wear sunglasses when outdoors to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
5. Include fruits, dark green vegetables, omega-rich fish, pork, eggs, nuts and beans in your diet.
6. Don’t smoke.
7. Wear safety googles or protective glasses for hobbies and sports.
Remember, there are many things you can do to protect your vision. Make healthy eyes a priority!
Call 911 if you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency. Certain eye-related issues, including sudden loss of vision, changes in vision, seeing flashes of light, etc., require emergency medical attention.