We’ve talked about the symptoms and the types of different cataracts in previous blogs, but what about your risk factors for getting cataracts? There might be some that you’re not aware of! Anyone can get cataracts, and that’s why we all must have the information that we need to successfully work with the issue and hopefully resolve it in many cases.
What are cataracts?
Cataracts happen when proteins in the eye get too close together and cloud your vision. Cataracts make it harder to see at night, leave you with halos around objects, and make it harder to differentiate between colors and distances as well. Unfortunately, cataracts aren’t curable, they can only be removed. Surgery for cataracts is an extremely common surgical procedure, and there’s no need to worry about it. Many surgeons train in cataract removal.
What are your risks for cataracts?
While we are all at risk of cataracts, many times just due to age, several other big risk factors may make you at higher risk for developing cataracts over time. However, there’s no need to panic. Frequent scheduled comprehensive eye exams can catch cataracts early. This is why it’s extremely important to keep your appointments and to listen to your ophthalmologist’s requests for more frequent eye testing due to such risks.
One unfortunate side effect of diabetes is its effect on your eyes. High blood glucose levels can contribute to this, and they can also cause problems like glaucoma. If you are a diabetic, coordinate a plan with your medical doctor and ophthalmologist to make sure that you are frequently being checked for problems like these. Waiting to see a doctor or ignoring the problem will only make it worse.
Tobacco and Smoking
Here’s one we all know: when you smoke, you expose yourself to the potential for lots of health problems. Not only can the physical smoke harm your eyes, but the cancer-causing chemicals being put into your body can also cause you great harm. If you are a smoker, you may be at greater risk for problems like cataracts. Please inform your ophthalmologist that you are a smoker, and they can work with you to find the best plan to screen frequently for health problems.
We know exposure to the sun can cause problems with melanoma/skin cancer, but did you know that it can also cause problems, like cataracts, with your eyes? Here’s another reason it’s so important to get 100% UV protection in all sunglasses that you wear and to actually wear them. This applies for long drives in the sun, walking outside, playing sports, and any other prolonged time that you spend outside. If you need prescription sunglasses, we offer these at Dr. Clifford Myers office. Your ophthalmologist will be happy to work with you to find the right prescription for your eyes.
Are you at risk?
If you are at greater risk, please speak with your ophthalmologist to find a screening and treatment plan that will work for your risk factors. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Clifford Myers today.