Eyesight is something most people take for granted, until something happens which compromises proper vision, and then it really hits home how important seeing well is to leading a full and independent life.
June marks Cataract Awareness Month and there are a number of preventative steps you can start taking right away to prevent or slow the development of cataracts. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in adults over the age of 40, more than glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy combined.
- Smoking and excess alcohol consumption increase the risk for developing cataracts. A healthy lifestyle may delay or prevent vision problems.
- Eating a healthy diet, keeping blood sugar in check and getting plenty of antioxidants can help protect vision.
- Wear large sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection and a wide-brimmed hat to slow the development of cataracts. Exposure to ultraviolet light can cause cataracts to form earlier in life.
- Get regular vision exams, early detection of eye disorders may save your sight!
More than 24 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts and it is the primary cause of blindness worldwide. If you notice changes in vision; if things appears cloudy or blurry even through glasses, it may be a sign of developing cataracts. By age 65, more than 90 per cent of Americans will develop cataracts. Other symptoms can include trouble seeing at night, light or glare sensitivity, seeing halos around light, double vision or fading or yellowing of colors.
The good news is that cataracts can be treated with surgery and correcting lenses may even help older adults become less dependent on glasses. For more information about cataracts and cataract treatment, visit the National Eye Institute by following this link.