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6 Things You Need To Know About Cataracts

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Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss.  Here are 6 things you need to know.

1. Chances are you will develop a cataract! 

Cataracts are a part of the natural aging process.  Everyone gets cataracts if you live long enough,.

2. A cataract is a clouding of the usually transparent lens in your eye.

Most people think cataracts are something that 'grows over the eye and needs to be peeled away".  This is not true.  The lens in your eye focuses light onto the retina, at the back of your eye.  This then sends a signal to your brain, through the optic nerve. The lens starts out clear, and over time begins to become cloudy, much as an egg is clear and as you cook it, the clear part becomes cloudy.
When the lens is cloudy, you end up getting a cloudy picture on to the retina.  It looks like you are looking through a dirty or cloudy window.

3. Age is not the only risk factor for cataract development.

As we get older, it is more likely to have a cataract.  Other reasons for cataract include: eye injury, certain medications (eg: steroids), diseases such as diabetes and macular degeneration, lifestyle choices such as alcohol consumption, smoking and prolonged exposure to the sun. 

4. Your treatment options are not limited to surgery.

If cataracts are detected in the early stages of development, non-surgical options including stronger glasses or even better lighting go a long way to help alleviate the condition’s detrimental impact on your vision at first. Homeopathic remedies reduce cataracts in some people.  Most people ultimately do need cataract surgery.  The good news is that cataract surgery is usually very successful.  The procedure takes 20 minutes and you go home the same day.  

5. Cataracts have warning signs

Cataracts happen gradually.  They don’t suddenly develop overnight. Some things that may bother you and tell you you have a cataract are: cloudy vision, seeing halos around lights, trouble with night vision or see double in one eye.  That's when it is a good idea to make a visit to see us.

6. What you eat can reduce your risks.

Healthy food choices plays a vital role in your overall health.  It can also play a very specific role in reducing your risk of cataract development. A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increased intake of vitamin C or the combined intake of multiple antioxidants significantly reduced the risk of cataracts in older adults.

Don’t let cataracts interfere with your quality of life. Be sure to schedule regular eye exams so that you stay on top of your overall eye health.