The ability to see is our most precious sense. However, one thief is responsible for taking 48% of the world’s vision. The culprit is a cataract, which occur as the eye’s lens becomes clouded, most often because of age.
Despite technological advancements, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness across the globe. Cataracts are considered to be an avoidable blindness.
Blindness from cataracts is most prevalent in remote areas of the world where there is a lack of access to eye care. In the US, 9.6% of Americans suffer from avoidable blindness. While this is much less than remote countries, proper education and access to medical care is necessary to win the war against avoidable blindness.
Here are five things you never know about cataracts.
- Women are at a higher risk for developing cataracts and are less likely to have access to services to treat them.
- By the age of 80, more than half of the US population will have cataracts or have had surgery to remove them.
- Cataracts are caused by the excessive build-up of protein on the lens, which causes clouding.
- Cataract surgery is only necessary when the visual impairment caused by the cataract interferes with daily activities, such as driving a car or reading.
- Wearing sunglasses and avoiding smoking and alcohol can help prevent or delay the formation of cataracts.
We are fortunate to live in a developed country that has access to ophthalmologists trained in the diagnosis and removal of cataracts. While cataracts are believed to be a part of the aging process, blindness is not. Take care of your eyes and they will take care of you.
For more information about cataracts or cataract surgery, visit Raleigh Eye Center online by clicking here.