June is Cataract Awareness Month! Every year, the organization Prevent Blindness America along with the American Academy of Ophthalmology encourages Americans to be mindful of the signs and symptoms associated with cataracts.
This year, we’ve decided to outline several common myths about cataracts. Have you heard any of these before?
Myth: Cataracts only affect older adults
Cataracts are most common in older adults, but it’s still possible to develop a cataract when you’re young. Factors like long-term steroid use, UV exposure, eye injuries, smoking, and diabetes can increase your risk of developing cataracts at any age.
Myth: Cataracts are always visible
Sometimes cataracts are visible. During their early stages, however, your eyes may look completely normal. If you’ve been having problems with your vision lately, you will need a thorough examination to rule out cataracts.
Myth: The only symptom of a cataract is cloudy vision
Since a cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, it makes sense that your vision might appear cloudier if you have a cataract. That being said, there are a number of other symptoms associated with cataracts including decreased night vision, light sensitivity, double vision in a single eye, seeing “halos” around lights, and experiencing faded colors.
Myth: Cataracts are equally likely in men and women
Cataracts are actually more common in women than men. According to the National Eye Institute, 61 percent of Americans with cataracts are women, whereas 39 percent are men.
Myth: Cataracts can be treated with medication
Once a person has developed a cataract, the only way to remove it is through surgery. While having surgery on your eye may sound intimidating, cataract surgery is one of the oldest surgeries ever performed. It’s also one of the safest surgeries done today!
Your vision is important to us.
Ophthalmology Associates encourages all our patients to keep an eye on their vision, report on any changes, and receive regular comprehensive eye examinations. Most forms of vision loss are preventable and can be slowed – or even eliminated – with treatment. If you suspect you’re suffering from a cataract or another vision problem, we can help.
Contact us today to learn more about our services or to set up a comprehensive eye examination.