Posted by Tom Betar

Cataracts awareness: Just see what you are missing

June 15, 2022 Ophthalmology

They say our eyes are the windows to our soul. But in modern medicine, they can say a lot more. Eye health sheds light on our diet, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle habits, and more.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 65 million people around the globe suffer from cataracts, which is the leading cause of blindness. Cataracts are also the most common cause of visual impairment in the United States, so they could impact you or someone you love.

June is Cataract Awareness Month. And with so much of our lives relying on eye health to function, let’s talk about ways doctors identify and treat cataracts and ways families can prevent visual impairment through diet and healthy habits.

Prevention
Aging is the most common contributor to developing cataracts. More than 50% of U.S. adults aged 80 and older either have cataracts or have had surgery to remove the proteins impacting the eye lens. Although experts believe heredity and diabetes are risk factors, you can reduce your risk of cataracts with lifestyle changes such as reducing alcohol intake and not smoking.

Eat right.
A healthy diet offers a virtual buffet of better overall health, and a diet filled with vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotene contributes to eye health. “Make sure you eat fruits and veggies every day,” says Whitney Seltman, O.D. “Five servings can provide more than 100 milligrams of vitamin C and 5 to 6 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin.”

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two vitamins known to help protect your eyes from cataracts. These vitamins are found in eggs and leafy green vegetables.

Dump the drugstore shades
Along with a hat, sunglasses are your eye’s best defense against harmful U.V. rays and glare. So, it’s worth investing in eyewear that truly protects your eyes. “Don’t settle for less than 100 percent,” warns Kierstan Boyd of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “When looking for sunglasses, don’t be fooled into thinking the darker the lens, the safer they are for your eyes. Only sunglasses with 100% U.V. protection provide the safety you need.”

Symptoms
Cataract sufferers may not notice the early signs. Regular checkups with your ophthalmologist are critical to identify symptoms through testing and start treatment if needed.

Common signs often accelerate gradually and may include:

  • Blurred or double vision.
  • Eyeglass prescriptions are no longer effective.
  • A sensitivity to light or difficulty seeing clearly at night.

Treatment
Yes, cataracts are treatable.

When caught early, cataract surgery is routine. In fact, this surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures in the U.S. Experts estimate that almost 4 million cataract surgeries are performed yearly, with around a 90% success rate. This minimally invasive procedure, in which an eye specialist removes proteins clouding the eye lens, can be performed easily within one hour.

Revere Health offers comprehensive care for a variety of eye conditions at our eye center in Provo. Led by Dr. David Brockbank, this facility can perform cataract surgery, treat diabetic eye complications, help you manage glaucoma, and more.

Because life wasn’t meant to be viewed from the sidelines. Revere it with good health.

WRITTEN BY:

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Telehealth is not appropriate for every medical concern, so it’s important to ask your provider whether a virtual visit is suitable for your needs.

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.