Your sight is one of your most precious senses, allowing you to see all that life has to offer. Whether it is taking in the natural beauty of a gorgeous sunset, the exciting action of your favorite sport, or the sweet smiles of your family and loved ones, you count on your eyes to connect with it all. So it is especially important to be aware of the risks that threaten them. Your eyes and vision can be affected by a variety of diseases and other conditions. You can find out more about the most common ones here on the North Bay Blog. Twice a month I will be posting information about various problems that can affect your vision and eve health.
Starting today with the most common cause of vision loss and the main cause of blindness in the world for people over 40; Cataracts.
Cataracts begin small and slowly grow to blur your vision. Like you are looking through a cloudy glass. A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. The lens of the eye works much like a camera lens focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye. The lens also adjusts the eye's focus, allowing us to see things clearly both up close and far away. The lens is mostly made of water and protein. The protein being arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and allows light to pass through it. But, as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract and, over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens making it harder to see.
As cataracts worsen you may notice some or all of these problems:
- Blurred vision that cannot be corrected with a change in your glasses prescription
- Ghost images or blurred vision in one or both eyes
- Glare from sunlight and artificial light including from oncoming headlights when driving at night
- Colors appear faded and less vibrant
It's hard to know for sure if cataracts can be prevented but it has been suggested that maintaining good nutrition (see my blog on Nutrition and Eye Health) may reduce your risk of cataracts. It has also been suggested that wearing protective sunglasses, when outdoors, that block 100% of the sun's UV rays, can reduce the risks of cataracts.
If you begin to experience or "see" these symptoms call for an appointment with one of our eye specialists at North Bay right away.
I hope this was helpful. Look for more information on various common eye diseases and eye health issues in the weeks and months ahead.