June is National Cataract Awareness Month*



Notes from Nursing
June is National Cataract Awareness Month *


Prevent Blindness America has declared June as Cataract Awareness Month. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the US, and the leading cause of blindness around the world. There are 24 million Americans over the age of 40 who are affected by cataracts. Here are some common questions:
What are cataracts and what is the treatment? Cataracts are prevalent, treatment is simple. Cataracts are the clouding of the lens of the eye, which prevents passage of light into the eye. Cataract surgery is most often the answer. A surgeon removes the deteriorated lens and replaces it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens. Millions of Americans undergo this surgery annually, making it one of the most common surgeries in the US. Usually a short procedure, many resume normal activities with in a fairly short period of time.
Is cataract removal safe? While there is always risk with a surgical procedure, cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective with a success rate of over 90%.
Do cataracts only affect seniors? No, cataracts can affect anyone. Most people do not show symptoms until at least age 40. However, they can affect young adults and also children.
Can I prevent cataracts? There is no proven way to prevent age-related cataracts. However, choosing a healthy lifestyle can slow the progression. Some ways to delay the progression of cataracts include: avoiding smoking, reducing exposure to UV rays, eating a healthy diet and wearing proper eye protection to avoid eye injury.