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June is Cataract Awareness Month

Healthy Vision Month
June is Cataract Awareness Month. Remember to schedule your regular eye exam" is captured.

June is Cataract Awareness Month June marks Cataract Awareness Month, a dedicated time to highlight the prevalence of cataracts and the crucial need for early detection and treatment. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide, impacting approximately 17.2 million Americans aged 40 and older.

Sponsored by Prevent Blindness America, a national nonprofit organization, this annual event aims to promote eye health and prevent vision loss. Throughout the month, efforts are made to educate the public about cataract symptoms and the importance of regular eye exams.

Understanding Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens that leads to blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, glare, and other visual disturbances. They develop gradually and can affect one or both eyes, potentially hindering daily activities like driving, reading, and watching TV.

While cataracts are commonly associated with aging and more prevalent in those over 60, younger individuals can also develop them due to factors like eye trauma, diabetes, or long-term use of certain medications. Other risk factors include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and prolonged sun exposure.

Cataracts form when proteins in the eye's lens break down and clump together, causing cloudiness and discoloration. This clouding obstructs light from passing through the lens, leading to blurry or distorted vision.

Recognizing Symptoms

In the early stages, cataract symptoms may be mild, but as they progress, vision impairment becomes more pronounced. Common symptoms include:

· Blurry or hazy vision

· Increased sensitivity to glare, especially from bright lights or the sun

· Difficulty seeing at night or in low-light conditions

· Colors appearing less vivid or yellowed

· Double vision in one eye

Treatment and Prevention

The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery, which involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial one. Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures in the United States, with around 3 million performed annually. Typically an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia, cataract surgery can significantly improve vision, though full recovery may take several weeks.

Preventative Measures

While surgery is effective, preventing cataracts is equally important. Here are some tips to protect your eyes:

· Protect from UV radiation: Wear sunglasses with UV protection and a wide-brimmed hat outdoors.

· Quit smoking: Smoking increases cataract risk, so quitting can improve both your eye health and overall health.

· Eat a healthy diet: Foods rich in vitamin C and antioxidants help protect against cataracts.

· Manage chronic conditions: Proper management of conditions like diabetes can reduce cataract risk.

· Regular eye exams: Early detection through regular exams can make treatment easier.

· Avoid prolonged steroid use: Discuss risks with your healthcare provider if you need long-term steroids.

· Limit alcohol intake: Excessive drinking is linked to a higher risk of cataracts.

Our Commitment

At Conklin Davis Center, we support Cataract Awareness Month and its mission to educate the public on the importance of regular eye exams. We recognize the significant impact vision problems like cataracts can have on quality of life. Our goal is to provide low vision training and resources to those in need, ensuring access to high-quality eye care and helping individuals live independently. If you or a loved one are dealing with vision issues, contact us at (386) 258-3441. We're here to help you find the solutions you need to live your best life.

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