Get clear on cataracts
Life Care Center of Greeneville

Get clear on cataracts

Clouds in the sky might shade a sunny day, but “clouds” in your eye could cast a shadow on your vision. In recognition of Cataracts Awareness Month, we decided to take some time to focus on cataracts and how we can manage and treat them for better eye health.

Understanding cataracts
Cataracts are common. More than half of Americans will have or will have had one by age 80, according to the National Institutes of Health. This is because as we age, the lenses of our eyes become thicker and less flexible. Lens tissue can “fall out of place” and clump together, forming a cataract. And as a cataract grows, it can scatter light entering the eye and fog your vision.

Cataracts are associated with aging, but there are other factors to keep in sight:
• Eye trauma or surgery
• Diabetes and other conditions
• Family history
• Overexposure to sunlight

If you checked off any of these, you could be a candidate for cataracts. But don’t let eye problems leave you in the dark! There are things you can do to keep your eyes clear.

Early detection and management
If you experience poor night vision, glaring or blurred or double vision, you might have a cataract. But to know for sure, regular eye exams are vital. The NIH recommends that everyone, especially people ages 60 and older, get an exam at least every two years.

Your eye doctor can check your visual sharpness and the condition of your eyes.

You can help keep your eyes healthy by having a balanced diet of foods rich in zinc, vitamins A, C and E, as well as the antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Some eye health boosting foods are leafy vegetables, carrots, eggs, poultry, nuts, garden peas and red berries.

You should also manage any medical conditions that can impact your eye health. And hats and anti-UV sunglasses are a must for days in the sun!

If you think a cataract has already made camp, don’t worry. There are treatment options out there.

Regaining clarity
Cataracts are not considered dangerous in their early stages, according to the Mayo Clinic. And you can help improve symptoms by updating your eye care prescription, brightening the lights and shading your eyes while outside. But when cataracts begin to affect your vision significantly, removal is necessary.

The thought of eye surgery may make you squirm, but don’t fear; cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures in America. It is low-risk and has a success rate of about 90 percent.

Your eye doctor can help you decide when surgery would be right for you.

Cataracts can turn your vision to a blur if you’re not careful. But some foresight can help you keep your visual clarity while saving yourself time and worry. The month of June is for enjoying the warm summer weather and scenic sights. Never let a few clouds – or cataracts – ruin a sunny day!

Life Care Center of Greeneville

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Life Care Center of Greeneville

(423) 639-8131

725 Crum St., Greeneville, TN 37743

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