When it comes to cataracts, people often have no clue what to expect. Some people may not even know what a cataract is!
Like any other eye condition, there are factors at play with cataracts. Keep reading to learn important facts about cataracts!
What is a cataract?
A cataract develops when proteins in the eye being clumping together on the lens. The process happens over many years as the clump of proteins cloud the lens and affect vision.
If left untreated, cataracts will lead to total and permanent loss of vision. The only way to treat a cataract is with cataract surgery. During this surgery, the clouded lens is completely removed and replaced with an IOL.
Who is at risk of developing cataracts?
Cataracts are usually known as an age-related condition. As we age, our risk of developing cataracts increases.
If you have a family history of cataracts, you’re more likely to develop them. This is also the case if you are of African American and Latino/Hispanic descent.
Cataracts are incredibly common but that doesn’t mean people know much about them!
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness globally
It’s true. Around the globe, cataracts are the largest cause of vision loss in people aged 40 and older.
Cataracts are also the single largest cause of blindness worldwide. In fact, cataracts affect more people than glaucoma.
You won’t feel them
Cataracts often sneak up on those they affect. As cataracts begin developing, there is no pain associated with them. The problem only becomes obvious when vision loss has already occurred.
By this time, it’s often already lead to a significant loss of vision. Pain could occur with a cataract if it grows large enough to cause light sensitivity.
The elderly aren’t the only ones affected by cataracts
This may be a surprising fact but it’s so important to know, learn, and share. It could save your sight or the sight of someone you love.
People often think that cataracts are exclusive to the senior community. That is actually far from the case!
The majority of cataract cases occur in older patients. Your risk of developing them also increase as you age.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get cataracts at any age, because you can! Poor habits like not wearing sunglasses, eating badly, and smoking increase cataract risk.
Not wearing your shades may increase your risk of cataracts
It’s easy to remember to wear your sunscreen on a sunny day but what about the sunglasses? You should remember them because not wearing sunglasses increases your risk of cataracts.
This is because sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Keep in mind, this is only the case if you’re wearing UV protected sunglasses. Without UV protection, the sun’s rays increase the rate that proteins break down.
Faster protein breakdown can mean the development of cataracts! So make sure to always keep your sunglasses with you. A sunhat is also a good idea to add a stylish bit of extra protection.
Concerned that you may have cataracts? Schedule a consultation with Loden Vision Centers in the Nashville area today!