Have you felt like your vision is getting more blurry? Are you starting to see double, and not just the first few minutes of waking up? If so, you’re not alone. 24.4 million Americans over the age of 40 have had cataracts, and about half of all Americans will have had cataracts by the age of 75, and it is the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. This month, the Prevent Blindness organization and Bausch + Lomb have teamed up to sponsor Cataract Awareness Month in an effort to educate the public and raise awareness of the symptoms, causes and treatment option for cataracts.
What are Cataracts?
Most of us have heard of cataracts, or know people who have had cataracts. But what exactly is it? Cataracts are the effect of the breaking down of proteins in the eye’s lens. It is something that happens as a normal eye change with aging that starts around the age of 40. In addition to aging, other causes of cataracts include diabetes, eye injury, sun damage or smoking.
How do you know if you have cataracts? Symptoms include:
· Blurry vision, as if you’re looking through a dusty car windshield
– Double vision
· Light sensitivity
· Trouble seeing at night
Luckily cataracts can easily be treated with outpatient surgery. More than 2 million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States each year, and you can be in and out in one day. The procedure itself only takes about 20 minutes. The opthamalogist makes a tiny incision in your eye, removes the clouded lens, and replaces it with an artificial lens. If you happen to need surgery on both eyes, they will not do them at the same time. You’ll be asked to make your appointments a few weeks apart to give the first eye time to heal and your vision to be restored.
If you believe you might be suffering from cataracts, it’s important to call your doctor. Getting your vision taken care of can make it easier to see in order to avoid obstacles that could cause a fall. It’s also been shown that cataract surgery decreases your odds of being in an accident while driving by 13 percent.
Our caregivers at Piedmont Home Care are familiar with the processes surrounding cataract surgery. We’re there for our clients, helping with transportation to and from the doctor’s office or hospital, and aiding in any way necessary in the hours and days after surgery.
If you or your loved one might need assistance in any way, don’t hesitate to call us at 336-724-1197 to learn more about our services.