June is Cataract Awareness Month

Three Things Patients Should Know About Cataracts

Advanced Eyecare Professionals shares facts about the eye condition and the surgery used to treat it

Approximately 25 million Americans have cataracts, which causes cloudy, blurry or dim vision and often develops with advancing age. This June, Advanced Eyecare Professionals joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in observing Cataract Awareness Month by sharing three things everyone should know about the condition and its treatment.

As everyone grows older, the lenses of their eyes thicken and become cloudier. Eventually, they may find it more difficult to read street signs. Colors may seem dull. These symptoms may signal cataracts, which affect about 70 percent of people by age 75. Fortunately, cataracts can be corrected with surgery. Ophthalmologists, physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care, perform around three million cataract surgeries each year to restore vision to those patients.

“Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide; however, in most cases, vision loss from cataracts is reversible. New techniques developed over the past decade have made cataract surgery one of the safest and most successful procedures available in terms of restoring quality of life to patients,” said ophthalmologist David Harrell, M.D.

The following are facts people should know about the condition.

  1. Age isn’t the only risk factor for cataracts. Though most everyone will develop cataracts with age, recent studies show that lifestyle and behavior can influence when and how severely you develop cataracts. Diabetes, extensive exposure to sunlight, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and certain ethnicities have all been linked to increased risk of cataracts. Eye injuries, prior eye surgery and long-term use of steroid medication can also result in cataracts. If you have any of these or other risk factors, talk to an ophthalmologist.
  2. Cataracts cannot be prevented, but you can lower your risk. Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and brimmed hats when outside can help. Several studies suggest that eating more vitamin C-rich foods may delay how fast cataracts form., Also, avoid smoking cigarettes, which have been shown to increase the risk of cataract development.
  3. Surgery may help improve more than just your vision. During the procedure, the natural clouded lens is replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens, which should improve your vision significantly. Patients have a variety of lenses to choose from, each with different benefits. Studies have shown that cataract surgery can improve quality of life and reduce the risk of falling. If cataracts are interfering with your ability to see well, consider asking your ophthalmologist about cataract surgery.

There are no drugs or exercises that will make a cataract disappear. Cataract surgery is most often done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia,” said Michael Flohr, M.D., founder and lead ophthalmologist of Advanced Eyecare Professionals. “The cloudy natural lens can be replaced with an artificial lens to give the eye proper focusing power. In most cases, the improvement in the patient’s vision is profound. In fact, thanks to new multifocal lenses that can now be chosen as an upgrade to your cataract surgery allow you to focus near and far. Allowing many patients to be less dependent on glasses after cataract surgery.

A life-changing surgery

“Cataract surgery has improved my life and now I can see the TV good. I can look at my magazines and see much more when going for a ride in the car. Cataract surgery was very quick and easy, and I can see 100% better. It has improved my life 100%,” said local resident Donna F.

“Confidence of not needing glasses after 50 years is wonderful after having cataract surgery. Seeing brilliant colors again is amazing! I would highly recommend Advanced Eyecare Professionals; they have excellent staffing. My final result from seeing 20-50 to 20-15 is phenomenal,” said local resident Diane J.

Learn more about cataract symptoms, treatment and types of IOLs by speaking with one of our board certified ophthalmologists. Please call to schedule a cataract evaluation today. We will be happy to answer any and all your questions.

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