Gain Clarity With These Cataract Facts (Infographic)

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Did you know 80% of vision problems around the world are preventable? Our eyes give us the gift of seeing all of the beauty around us, which is why eye care is crucial to maintaining our vision. Since August is Cataract Awareness Month, the staff at Greene County Medical Center would like to educate you and your loved ones about cataract health.

Greene County Medical Center, Cataract Facts

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is the clouding of a normally clear eye lens. Most develop slowly and do not disturb your eyesight in the beginning. Over time or due to injury, a cataract will change the tissue of the eye lens and begin to impact your vision.

Types of Cataracts

  • Secondary cataract. Cataracts can form after surgery as a result of other eye issues such as glaucoma. Additionally, cataracts can develop due to health problems such as diabetes.
  • Traumatic cataract. This type of cataract can develop after an eye injury and, in some situations, aren’t present until many years later. 
  • Congenital cataract. Babies can be born with cataracts or they can develop them, often in both eyes, during childhood. 
  • Radiation cataract. Some forms of radiation exposure can damage cells covering the surface of the eye lens, causing this form of cataract. 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts?

Cataracts may go unnoticed at first, if the cloudiness onlys affects a very small portion of the eye lens. As they continue to develop, however, you may notice changes in your vision. It’s important to be on the lookout for these common signs and symptoms:

  • Colors seem faded
  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Glare from sunlight, headlights or lamps seems bright
  • Consistent prescription changes for your contact lenses and/or eyeglasses
  • Double images in one eye
  • Poor night vision

Who is at Risk of Developing Cataracts?

The cause of cataracts is unknown; however, there is a greater risk of developing them as you age. There are several other potential risk factors that may cause cataracts, such as: 

  • Long-term exposure to UV rays from the sun or intense heat
  • Hereditary influences
  • Inflammation in the eye
  • Eye diseases
  • Eye injuries
  • Particular diseases, such as diabetes
  • Smoking

How Does a Provider Test for Cataracts?

When determining whether an individual has or is developing cataracts, a provider will first review your medical history and symptoms and then perform an eye test. There are three different types of examinations that could be performed:

  • Visual Acuity Test (reading an eye chart). This eye test measures how well you read a series of letters on an eye chart. Your eyes will be tested individually, reading the chart with one eye as the other eye is covered. Based on how far you are able to read down the chart and how many mistakes are made, a provider can determine if you have an impairment.
  • Light and magnification. Also known as a slit-lamp examination, the lamp allows the provider to see all of the structures in the front of the eye under magnification, making it easier to notice any abnormalities.
  • Retinal examination. For a retinal exam, the provider will put drops in your eyes to dilate them, making it easier to examine the retina and lens for any signs of a cataract.

What Can You Do to Prevent Cataracts?

To date, there have been no proven studies about how to prevent cataracts or how to slow their development. However, there are many helpful suggestions for promoting eye health such as:

  • Have regular eye exams
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce alcohol use

Is Cataract Surgery in Your Future?

Has your eye doctor told you that you may need cataract surgery? At Greene County Medical Center, our top priority is to ensure the health of you and your loved ones. If you’re ready to learn more about how surgery can correct your cataracts, schedule an appointment with cataract surgeon Dr. Ryan Vincent at Greene County Medical Center today!