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What is a Cataract?

In case you missed it, September was Healthy Aging Month. In honor of this, we brought you some information on age-related eye health conditions the entire month.

Our final installment is about cataracts, read about it below!

What is a Cataract?

Just like a camera, each eye has a lens that helps view and focuses on things up close or far away.

The lens in our eyes has a very specific layout of proteins that allow light to pass through to enable our eyes to be able to see clearly.

The lens is found on the front and outside of the camera while in the case of our eyes, the lens lies behind the iris (the colored part of our eyes) and the pupil.

A cataract happens when a build-up of proteins blocks part of the lens of our eye, reducing sharpness and causing cloudy vision.

Here’s What You Need to Know:

  • Cataracts are more common in the older population. They start to develop as early as 40-50 years of age but depending on the severity, they don’t begin affecting vision until the affected individual reaches the age of 60.
  • More than half of the number of the American population is expected to have developed or been treated for cataracts by the age of 80.
  • Cataracts may occur in just one eye or both but cannot spread from one eye to the other.

What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

  • Blurry or Cloudy Vision
  • Colors appear faded
  • Poor Night Vision
  • Seeing a halo when looking at headlights or streetlights, lamps or sunlight
  • Double Vision
  • Frequent Prescription Changes

Who’s At Risk?

  • Seniors: As we age the fibers in the lens of our eye begin to break down and clump together blocking light from entering our eyes and causing cloudy vision
  • Diabetics: Certain diseases such as Diabetes can increase your risk of developing cataracts. Unchecked sugar lens can lead to increased protein build-up and swelling in the lens which leads to blurry vision
  • Smokers: It’s believed that smoking can oxidize the cells of the lens of your eye causing changes
  • Sun-worshipers: Too much exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can damage the lens

What Treatment Options are Available?

In the early stages, the symptoms of cataracts are reduced by the following:

  • New Eyeglasses
  • Anti-glare Sunglasses
  • Bright Lighting
  • Magnifying lenses

When the cataract reaches a point where it starts to obstruct vision, then, an eye doctor may suggest surgery. Comprehensive eye exams and close monitoring with your optometrist helps determine if you have reached this stage. An eye specialist takes charge of cataract surgery.

If you think you or someone you love may have cataracts or other eye health-related questions it’s time to book an appointment with our Doctor of Optometry today! Click here.

Trillium Eye Care is primarily a Jacksonville Optometrist that provides full comprehensive eye exams as well as glasses prescriptions.

We are conveniently located near Nocatee, St. John’s, St. Augustine, and Fruit Cove!

We offer online appointment booking available at your convenience—24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

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