You may be a victim of cataracts. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. Cataracts can start to develop by your 40s or 50s, but don’t tend to affect your vision until after age 60. By the age of 80, over half of all Americans have cataracts or have had cataract surgery. A cataract develops from protein build up that causes the normally clear lens of the eye to become cloudy. You are at increased risk of developing cataracts with previous history of eye trauma/surgery, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, or other risk factors.
Cataracts are diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam and can be treated with surgery. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a minimum of one eye exam in your 20s and two exams in your 30s (even if your vision is normal). It is important to find eye diseases early. Early treatment can help preserve your vision. It is further recommended to begin having your vision checked every 2 years starting at age 40. Dependent upon your medical history, you may need eye exams more frequently. It is always important to talk with your healthcare provider to determine your ideal plan of care. I urge you to take care of your vision so that you can enjoy all the “bright, bright, sun shiny days”.
Article written by Nicole Roberson NP-C, a nurse at Washington County Family Practice at 610 Ferncrest Drive, Suite A, Sandersville Ga. If you have further medical questions, call 478-552-9000.