If you have an older relative, you may have heard them complain about cataracts. But what are cataracts and how are they treated? June is Cataract Awareness Month, so today we’re going to separate the myths from the facts about cataracts.
Myth: People who take care of their eyes won’t get cataracts.
Fact: Everyone will get cataracts as they get older. In fact, aging is the most common cause of cataracts. They can also be caused by trauma, some medications, systemic diseases like diabetes, and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light. While you can do some things to delay cataracts – like wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light – you can never completely prevent them.
Cataracts can affect children and young adults as well as the elderly. Heredity, disease, eye injury, and smoking are contributing factors. As people age, they can start showing signs of cataracts as early as 40.
Myth: My eyes don’t hurt, so I don’t have cataracts.
Fact: Cataracts usually do not cause pain. Instead, they cause blurred vision, double vision, glare, discoloration, and frequent changes in your glasses prescription.
Myth: Cataract surgery is dangerous and time-consuming.
Fact: Cataract surgery is incredibly safe and effective. It only takes about 10 minutes, and recovery time usually takes no more than an hour. You will, however, still need someone to drive you home after your procedure and you’ll be given a pair of sunglasses to wear on the way home to protect your eyes.
Myth: The replacement lens might not be good for my eye.
Fact: A wide variety of replacement lenses is available to restore your vision. Options may include implants that correct for distance, intermediate and near vision as well as astigmatism. While there is no way to test a lens before it is implanted, your lifestyle and eye health can help you determine which lens would be best for you. Your doctor will discuss your options with you before your surgery.
Myth: There’s no point in getting cataract surgery because the cataracts will only come back.
Fact: Once a cloudy lens is replaced, you can never get a cataract in that eye again.
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. CEENTA has more than 20 cataract specialists eager to treat your cataracts. To make an appointment for an eye examination at one of CEENTA’s offices that provides eye care, call 704-295-3000.
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