The Importance of Cataract Screening

June 20, 2016

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The Importance of Cataract Screening

One of the most common eye disorders that affects millions of people globally is cataracts. This particular eye lesion can occur in newborns but the majority start to develop after the fifth decade of life. Cataracts in general do not have any symptoms when they first develop and most people have no idea that they have them. For individuals who develop cataracts, it is like seeing objects through a frosty or fogged-up window. Initially, the blurry or smudgy vision caused by a cataract may affect only a small part of the eye’s lens and most people are not aware of any significant vision loss. However, as the cataract grows and matures, it affects more the lens and distorts the amount of light passing through the lens. At this point most people become aware that there is something wrong with their eyes.

Treatment

When symptoms develop, the only treatment for cataracts is surgery. While many advances have been made in cataract surgery, some patients do not have a good result and are left with impaired vision or the need to wear glasses.
It is estimated that cataracts affect nearly 50% of people over the age of 65 in the US. Earlier cataract detection and prevention can help prevent permanent vision loss and maintain a good quality of life

Recent News

There is now a recent study from University College in London which reveals that people who eat a diet rich in vitamin C have a marked slowing in the progression of cataracts and in more than 50% of cases, the cataract growth was arrested- the conclusion was that by preventing the slow down in cataract formation, these people did not require surgery.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for cataracts include the following
– Family history
– Diabetes
– Eye trauma
– Previous eye surgery or infection
– Use of certain medications like steroids
– Advancing age
– Excess alcohol consumption
– Prolonged exposure to the sun or exposure to ionizing radiation
– High blood pressure
– Obesity
– Smoking

Hence, there is now a push to screen people with risk factors for cataracts. If detected early, these people are encouraged to change their lifestyle and adopt a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Cataract screening is not the same as a vision screen. It requires a detailed look into the eye with a slit lamp, which rarely take more than a few minutes. The test is painless and is done as an outpatient.

Screening for cataracts can be done by an ophthalmologist. The important thing to understand is that the earlier the cataract is identified, the likelier you are to prevent its progression, which in the long run also avoids risky eye surgery.

Contact us if you think you’re a candidate for cataract screening.

Family Eyecare of Linden

515 N Wood Avenue, Ste 102

Linden, NJ 07036

Tel: 908-259-5059

Fax: 908-486-5006

Email: lindeneyecare@gmail.com

Sources

Healthy Vitamin C Amount Might Prevent Cataracts. HYPERLINK “http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cataracts/news/20160324/healthy-amount-of-vitamin-c-might-keep-cataracts-at-bay” http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cataracts/news/20160324/healthy-amount-of-vitamin-c-might-keep-cataracts-at-bay

 

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