Did you know that more than 2.5 million Canadians have cataracts? With a number like that, chances are you probably know someone who either has, or has had cataracts. Since June is Cataract Awareness Month, we’re here to shed some light on this prevalent eye disease. It’s important to know that symptoms of cataracts are progressive and can worsen over time. If not treated, cataracts can eventually lead to blindness. In fact, cataracts are responsible for 48% of world blindness. The good news is, cataract treatment is not only quick and painless, it also has an extremely high success rate!
What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s lens. Over time and with age, the proteins in the lens begin to build up and clump. The buildup of protein in the lens prevents light from passing through, making it harder to see. The severity of cataracts can range from barely affected vision to unable to see. Unfortunately, there is no proven way to avoid cataracts, and most people will eventually have a cataract in one or both eyes. If treatment is delayed, not only will symptoms worsen, but the actual size of the cataract can also grow. Cataract surgery is an effective treatment for restoring vision, and consists of replacing the cloudy lens with a new clear intraocular (IOL) lens.
- Blurry/hazy/cloudy vision
- The need for frequent new prescriptions
- Changes in the way you see colours
- Poor night vision
- An increased sensitivity to glare and light
- Double vision in one eye
Cataracts can be detected during a comprehensive eye examination. However, it’s important to note that these symptoms may be a sign of another eye problem. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we advise you to see an optometrist.
Cataract Increased Risk Factors:
- The use of certain medications
- Eye injury
- A family history of cataracts
- Excessive exposure to sunlight and radiation
Choosing a healthy lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, can decrease your risk factors for cataracts. Some other tips to reduce the risk of developing cataracts include:
- Reducing your exposure to sunlight: Wearing UVA/UVB protective eyewear is important because UV radiation can speed up the formation of cataracts.
- Following your treatment plans: Keep other diseases you may have, such as diabetes, under control
- Eating a healthy diet: Vitamins C and E may protect against the development and progression of cataracts as well as nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which can be found in leafy greens such as spinach and kale. In addition, the antioxidants found in these green veggies help to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
- Having regular eye exams: Since there is no pain or redness associated with cataracts, you may not even know you have a cataract until you have your eyes checked. It is best if cataracts are caught in the earlier stages. When it comes to cataracts and other eye problems, it’s better to be proactive than reactive.
- Reduce alcohol intake: Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of cataracts.
Cataract Treatment at Bense Vision
Bense Vision is the best choice for vision correction in Atlantic Canada. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of cataracts, or if you would like more information on any of our procedures, don’t hesitate to contact us. During your one-on-on consultation with Dr. Bense, he will be able to recommend the treatment that will give you the best visual results. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Bense maintains a strong commitment to providing his patients with the utmost care. We look forward to hearing from you!