Are You at Risk for Developing Cataracts?

High quality raster illustration of cataract (eye disease)Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness globally.  They are very common in older adults- in fact; it is estimated that more than 75% of people over the age of 65 will develop cataracts.  Although less common, people can develop this medical condition in their forties and fifties as well.

As you age, proteins in the eye begin to break down, causing clouding in the lens and the formation of cataracts. Many who are affected are unaware that this process is occurring because cataracts grow very slowly and does not impede vision during its early stages.   There are symptoms that can indicate the development of cataracts. Here are some that you can look out for:

  • Colors appear faded
  • Clarity in vision decreases and cannot be corrected with eyeglasses
  • An increase in sensitivity to light and glare
  • Halos appearing around lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Frequent changes in prescription eyewear
  • Double vision

Some people are more at risk of developing cataracts than others. These factors increase your risks:

  • Diabetes
  • Exposure to prolonged durations of sunlight
  • Heavy drinking
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • Advanced age
  • High blood pressure
  • Previous eye injury or surgery

June is Cataract Awareness Month. During this time, the Department of Ophthalmology at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center wants you to know, there are several things you can do to be proactive and slow the progression of cataracts.  Eating healthy is a good start. A balanced diet rich in vitamin C has shown to be effective.  Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from the Sun’s UV rays.  If you are a smoker- stop smoking and drink in moderation.  Early detection can save your eyesight therefore, scheduling routine eye exams is very important.

To schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) at Jamaica Hospital, please call, 718-206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.