Archive for June, 2014

June is Cataract Awareness Month

Posted on: June 19th, 2014 by lowvision

Imagine seeing life through a fogged-up window or mirror. Your loved ones or pets appear blurry. For people who have cataracts, this is a daily reality. Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss in the United States. There are more than 24 million Americans ages 40+ who have the condition, according to Prevent Blindness America.

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye.  Unlike many eye diseases, vision loss due to cataract can be restored. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures and has a 95 percent success rate. Additionally, new research finds that patients who have restored vision because of cataract surgery had a significantly reduced rate of hip fractures from falls[i].

Symptoms of cataracts include blurry or double vision, a strong glare, or difficulty seeing at night. Adult cataracts develop gradually, and early diagnosis is important for maintaining good eye heath. Mild clouding of the lens often occurs after age 60 with few vision problems. However, by age 75, most people with cataracts have symptoms that do affect their vision.

Visual problems that may be associated with cataracts include:

  • Sensitivity to glare
  • Cloudy, fuzzy, foggy, or filmy vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night or in dim light
  • Double vision
  • Loss of color intensity
  • Problems seeing shapes against a background or the difference between shades of colors
  • Seeing halos around lights

The risk of cataracts increases as a person ages. Other risk factors include:

  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes
  • Personal behavior, such as smoking and alcohol use
  • The environment, such as prolonged exposure to sunlight

What can I do protect my vision?

Regularly wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block ultraviolet sunlight can help delay cataracts. Researchers also believe good nutrition can help reduce the risk of age-related cataracts. Recommended foods include green leafy vegetables, fruit, and other foods with antioxidants.

If you are ages 60 or older, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years. In addition to cataracts, your eye care professional can check for signs of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other vision disorders. Early treatment for many eye diseases may save your sight.

Additionally, in some cases, cataract surgery is not an option or must be delayed because of other health circumstances. To improve your sight, low vision devices may help to enhance contrast, control glare, and magnify objects using various tools to improve your quality of life.



Low Vision News Recap – May 2014

Posted on: June 3rd, 2014 by lowvision

Below is a compilation of news you can use relating to low vision and eye health in the month of May.

What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
Fox News
Cataracts are a very common low vision condition , affecting roughly 60 percent of people over the age of 60. As symptoms of the condition become severe, healthcare professionals may recommend replacing the affected lens with an artificial one during cataract surgery.

Why Shades are So Important to Your Health (Plus, a Few Stylin’ Sunnies We Love!)
Do you wear sunglasses only sometimes? You could be putting yourself at major risk for sunburn of the eye, damage to the retina, cataracts, macular degeneration and squamous cell carcinoma, all of which can have a negative effect on your ability to see clearly. A new report from The Vision Council shows that nearly 30 percent of Americans never wear sunglasses and 46 percent don’t wear them regularly, putting vision health at risk.

Senior Drivers Dread Conversation About Handing Over Keys
Detroit Free Press
Driving is very important in maintaining independence and sense of self for many aging adults. However, low vision conditions such as cataracts cause nighttime glare to inhibit the ability to drive safely. It is important for children of aging adults to understand this and work with their parents to make the appropriate adjustments while also helping them to stay independent and lead active lives.

Screenings Key to Preventing Vision Loss with Glaucoma
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness, but with no warning signs many people with the disease may not be receiving treatment. Glaucoma affects about two to three percent of the population over 40 and about 15 percent of people over 80. Similar to high blood pressure, the condition is a silent offender. Most people have no idea there is a problem until they start losing vision. Getting screened is important as it is the only way to detect and treat the disease in its early stages?