Cataracts: Hazy vision and what to do about it

Wellness
A cataract is a clouding in the lens of the eye that affects vision, making things seem blurred, hazy or dull. They are very common – half of Americans 80 years old will have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.

The most common type of cataract is related to aging, although one may develop cataracts due to diabetes, trauma, radiation or some ocular surgeries.

The lens of the eye is made of proteins arranged so the lens remains clear and allows light to pass through. As one ages, the proteins can clump together causing an opacity, or cataract, that decreases the light passed through to the retina. Increased blur, faded colors, glare, and/or poor night vision are some symptoms of cataracts.

While cataracts are inevitable if one lives long enough, there are ways to delay their onset. UV exposure is a known cause of cataracts. Wearing a hat and sunglasses will reduce UV exposure to the eyes. Smoking is also a contributing factor to early onset cataracts. Steroid use may cause cataracts, so it is important to follow the directives of your doctor while on medications.

Uncontrolled disease, like diabetes, can cause changes to the lens as well.

Ocular trauma may cause cataracts days, months or years after the traumatic event.

The optometrists at Roberts Eyecare are trained to detect and educate patients on cataracts and participate in post-operative care, should a patient need cataract surgery.

If you or a loved one has been complaining about dull or blurry vision, call for an eye health examination and determine if cataracts could be the cause!

Tips to prevent/delay cataract formation:
-reduce UV exposure
-quit smoking
-control diabetes
-protect the eyes from injury
-use steroids with caution and only under doctor supervision

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