If This Sounds Like You, You May be at Risk of Blindness
Although cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide and impact more than 100 million eyes globally, many people do not seek treatment primarily due to a lack of understanding and hesitancy around treatment options, including surgical procedures. That is why I am raising awareness for cataracts and encouraging people to prioritize their eyes and to speak to their healthcare provider if they think they may be experiencing cataract symptoms to determine a treatment option that is right for them. In general, cataracts are the clouding and yellowing of the lens in your eye – making it hard to see clearly.
The impact may not be noticed at first as cataracts start small and form slowly. As the cataract grows larger and clouds more of the lens, it will distort the light passing through, which leads to more noticeable symptoms such as blurred, dim or cloudy vision. Cataract surgery is a common opportunity to not only improve cloudy vision but also treat other eye conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, depending on the type of treatment selected. After cataract surgery, patients may even be able to reduce the dependency on glasses. Read on to find out more about who is at the first risk factor for cataracts.
You Are Older
Cataracts are common and happen as we age. A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye, caused by a buildup of the natural lens proteins. The buildup of protein changes the way the eye focuses light, therefore changing the color and clarity of vision. Cataracts begin to form at an early age, with symptoms most commonly becoming apparent between 50 and 60 years of age.
You Have Diabetes
Medical conditions such as diabetes — changes in blood sugar levels can change the build up of proteins and sugars inside the lens of the eye and can cause cataract to develop faster.
You Take These Medications
Medications such as steroids — chronic use of steroids (taken orally, nasal spray or inhaler or as an eyedrop) can also cause cataracts to develop.
You Love Sunbaths
An overexposure to sunlight UV rays or X-ray – UV and other rays can trigger oxidative stress in the lens leading to cataract over time.
Someone From Your Family Had It
Genetics and family history — some types of cataracts can be inherited.
What You Should Do if You are at Risk?
Readers should speak to their eyecare provider if they think they may be experiencing cataract symptoms to determine a treatment option that is right for them. In addition, Johnson & Johnson Vision offers helpful resources including a doctor locator on ClearVisionForYou.com.
Final Word From the Doctor
In general, cataract surgery is a common opportunity to not only improve cloudy vision but also treat other eye conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, depending on the type of treatment selected. After cataract surgery, patients may even be able to reduce the dependency on glasses.
Dr. Ashley Brissette, an NYC-based and award-winning ophthalmologist that specializes in cataract and vision correction at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Brissette is a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson Vision and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
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