June is Cataract Awareness Month, and in preparation we’re here to share some important information and tips for eye health as you age.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision.
The lens focuses light onto the retina at the back of the eye, where an image is recorded. The lens also adjusts the eye’s focus, letting us see things clearly both up close and far away. The lens is made of mostly water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it.
As we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract. Over time, the cataract may grow larger, thus decreasing vision.
Causes and risk factors
Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. The risk of cataract increases as you get older. Other risk factors for cataract include:
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes
- Personal behavior such as smoking and alcohol use
- Environmental factors, such as prolonged exposure to sunlight, injuries to eyes and exposure to radiation
What can I do to protect my vision?
Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block ultraviolet sunlight may help, along with eliminating risks such as smoking. Researchers also believe good nutrition can help reduce the risk (eating green leafy vegetables, fruit, and other foods with antioxidants). It is important to have regular eye health checkups.
If you are age 60 or older, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years (or per recommendation of your health professional). This is also important to check for signs of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other vision disorders. Early treatment for many eye diseases may save your sight.
This information is taken from the National Eye Institute. You can read more information about cataracts on their site, including symptoms, detection and treatment options.
How can EasyLiving help me with cataracts, eye health and low vision concerns?
- Health and active living support: medication management, assistance with medical appointments and maintaining preventative care and a healthy diet to support overall health.
- Safety and in-home assistance: home health aides to assist you in staying safe and maintaining your home; fall prevention.
- Comprehensive care management assessment: to determine solutions and ensure your safety; suggestions for assistive devices and home safety as well as medical providers and support programs.
- Healthcare management: transportation to appointments, pre and post-surgery care, care management/patient advocacy to help you weigh options and access the best treatment and ensure care continuity.
Contact us at 727-447-5845 for help and information! We always offer a complimentary consultation with our Senior Care Consultant to assist you in understanding options.