You can’t prevent them entirely, but knowing more about this common condition is half the battle.
Cataracts, those cloudy circles that can cover your eyes decreasing your vision, are very common. In fact, they affect about 24.4 million Americans over the age of 40, and more than half of all over the age of 80.
June is Cataract Awareness Month, and while these growths don’t hurt and can easily be removed, it’s always good to know more about them, in order to treat them effectively.
Here are 5 things you might not have known about them:
1) They’re the Leading Cause of Blindness in the World
Cataracts can cause you to go blind, if the cloudy area becomes so large that it obstructs all your vision. The good news is that your vision can often be restored with surgery and the implementation of a fake lens, known as an intraocular lens.
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2) More Women Get Them Than Men
While cataracts aren’t something men don’t get, more women are diagnosed with them than men. Why? No simple answer exists, but it could be due to hormonal changes, socio economic factors, longevity and environmental factors.
3) Cataract Surgery is the Most Common Surgical Procedure in the U.S
Cataract surgery is easy to undergo. It takes less than ½ an hour, and you can often resume your regular activities fairly soon after it’s done. That must be what makes it so popular! (That, and saving your vision).
4) They Don’t Only Affect Seniors
Most people under the age of 40 don’t have to contend with cataracts, but some factors can bring them on early. Medications and smoking are two.
5) A Healthy Lifestyle Counts
Experts say that you can’t prevent cataracts in old age entirely, but you can delay their onset. Eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise can mean your eyes stay clear for years to come.