June is Cataract Awareness Month – North Texas Eye Research Institute

June is Cataract Awareness Month – North Texas Eye Research Institute

A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of your eye. Cataracts are very common as you get older. In fact, more than half of all Americans age 80 or older either have cataracts or have had surgery to get rid of cataracts.

At first, you may not notice that you have a cataract. But over time, cataracts can make your vision blurry, hazy, or less colorful. You may have trouble reading or doing other everyday activities.

The good news is that surgery can get rid of cataracts. Cataract surgery is safe and corrects vision problems caused by cataracts.

Symptoms of cataracts:
• Your vision is cloudy or blurry
• Colors look faded
• You can’t see well at night
• Lamps, sunlight, or headlights seem too bright
• You see a halo around lights
• You see double (this sometimes goes away as the cataract gets bigger)
• You have to change the prescription for your glasses often

Your risk for cataracts goes up as you get older. You’re also at higher risk if you:
• Have certain health problems, like diabetes
• Smoke
• Drink too much alcohol
• Have a family history of cataracts
• Have had an eye injury, eye surgery, or radiation treatment on your upper body
• Have spent a lot of time in the sun
• Take steroids

You can take steps to protect your eyes and delay cataracts:
• Wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block the sun
• Quit smoking
• Eat healthy. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables — especially dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens
• Get a dilated eye exam

Source: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/cataracts

For more information on cataracts and other eye health topics, visit https://www.nei.nih.gov/