Did you know that the leading cause of reversible blindness in the U.S. is cataracts? As a natural part of the aging process, cataracts affect more than 20.5 million Americans over the age of 40. And by age 80, over 50% of people have a cataract or have already had cataract surgery.
What is a Cataract?
A cataract forms when the lens of the eye (which is about the size of an M&M) becomes clouded over by proteins. The cloud of proteins continues to grow and begins to obstruct vision. While the process is largely natural and unavoidable with age, the risk of a cataract developing early can be increased by factors such as:
• Excessively drinking alcohol
• Poor diet and obesity
• Eye injuries or certain diseases
• High blood pressure
• Too much direct sunlight
Try to eliminate as many of these you can. Remember, prevention is the best medicine! However, sometimes accidents happen or circumstances are out of your control. Don’t worry, because treatment for cataracts does exist.
How Do I Treat Cataracts?
Cataracts are a serious condition, but luckily the surgery that is performed to remove them is safer and more effective than ever. VisionPoint Eye Center is proud to be one of the leading practitioners of laser cataract surgery in Bloomington, Illinois.
Cataract surgery lasts around 10-15 minutes, and is virtually painless (though you may experience some discomfort and sensitivity for a few of the following days). Though you will be able to leave afterwards, you will be unable to drive, so make sure to plan accordingly.
When you get home, you will want plenty of rest. You will be given some special eye drops to protect your eye(s) from infection. Over the next several months, depending on how long you take to heal, you will return to your doctor for follow up exams to make sure everything is healing properly.
Unfortunately, cataracts are a natural part of growing older (we know, we know…) but are easily treatable with surgery. The earlier you notify your eye doctor of symptoms, the better. Keep an eye out for any of the following symptoms:
• Faded colors
• Blurry vision
• Light sensitivity
• Difficulty seeing at night
• Problems with depth perception
Early detection is also key to not only dealing with cataracts but any other health conflict you may come across. For this reason, it’s very important that you receive an eye exam with VisionPoint every 1-2 years. Click here to contact us today and schedule yours!
Articles by: The Importance of Cataract Awareness | VisionPoint Eye Center
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