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June is Cataract Awareness Month

Prevent Blindness America has declared the month of June to be Cataract Awareness Month. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world, and the leading cause for vision loss among Americans, affecting 24 million Americans over the age of 40. As such, June is dedicated to promoting awareness and education surrounding this issue.

What are cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of your eye, which is normally clear. They result in clouded vision, difficulty reading, driving, and overall vision problems, especially at night.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

  • Clouded, blurred or dim vision
  • Increased vision problems especially at night time
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • The need for brighter lighting for activities such as reading
  • Frequently changing prescription for glasses/contact lenses
  • Fading or yellowing of colors as they pertain to vision
  • Double vision in a single eye

What are the risk factors for developing cataracts:

  • Increasing age
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • High blood pressure
  • Previous eye injury, surgery, or inflammation
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications

Cataract Surgery

Patients dealing with the symptoms associated with cataracts may want to consider surgery to correct their vision, and improve overall quality of life. Cataract surgery is an operation to remove your eye’s lens when it is cloudy.

The purpose of your lens is to bend or refract light rays that come into the eye to help you see. Your own lens should be clear, but with a cataract it is cloudy. Having a cataract can be like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. For patients with cataracts, things may look blurry, hazy or less colorful.

The only way to remove a cataract is with surgery. This elective surgery becomes necessary when your cataract keeps you from doing things you want or need to do, like driving or reading.

During cataract surgery, an ophthalmologist will remove your cloudy natural lens, and replace it with a clear, artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). This process can dramatically improve vision in many cases.

This is an exciting time in cataract surgery. There are many options that can reduce a patient’s need for glasses. Depending on the prescription, a standard IOL will provide excellent vision, but patients will still need glasses to see their best.

Today, there are premium intraocular lens implants that can correct both astigmatism and presbyopia – the need for reading glasses. While the cost of these lens implants is not covered by medical insurance, they provide a high level of patient satisfaction as most people have a strong desire to see both distance and near without glasses.

Get in touch with Dr. Mabry if you have questions about cataract surgery, your eye health and want to schedule an eye exam. Call: (423) 385-2020