An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree after attending college and graduating from a 4-year professional program. They perform eye tests and vision tests and detect diseases, injuries, and disorders related to the eyes. Optometrists treat eye conditions, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, and prescribe eyeglasses and contacts. They may also provide low-vision aids and vision therapy.
About 1 in 28 Americans have low vision, which is a visual impairment not correctable through surgery, medications, glasses, or contact. Cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy are diseases that cause low vision. While up to 80 percent of cases of low vision are preventable, many eye disorders that result in low vision cause subtle symptoms – or no symptoms at all. Furthermore, many people are unaware of low vision and its causes therefore do not undergo the routine eye exams that can detect the disorders that cause low vision.
Over 24.4 million Americans age 40 years and older suffer from cataracts. More than half the population will have at least one cataract by the age of 80. We want to help you learn more about this vision concern and how you can reclaim your sight.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are a common eye problem, usually age-related, that causes the lens of the eye to become cloudy. As that cloudiness continues to prevent light from passing through the lens to your retina, you may experience increasingly blurry vision or see images that appear faded or discolored.
Cataracts happen when the lens of your eye clouds over, often becoming frosted like a steamed-up windowpane or even yellow. Cataracts are often age-related, but they can also arise as the result of trauma or medical conditions such as diabetic eye disease. Illinois Eye Center offers several cataract procedures that use intraocular lens implants (IOLs) to help restore vision — but are you a candidate?
Over 24.4 million Americans 40 years of age and older are affected by cataracts, and prevalence continues to rise with age. This frustrating clouding of the eye’s lens can make your vision blurry or cause objects to seem hazy or dull. While some protective measures such as wearing glasses with adequate sun protection may slow the progress of cataracts, surgery is often the most effective way to treat cataracts and restore vision.
More than 24.4 million Americans aged 40 or older suffer from cataracts; a clouding of the eye’s lens that can lead to vision loss or blindness. Some people are born with congenital cataracts while others develop the condition as a result of aging, injury, or repeated exposure to environmental and lifestyle factors such as UV radiation, diet, alcohol, or cigarette smoke. Whatever the cause, cataracts can be debilitating, limiting not only the affected person’s vision but their quality of life as well.
Cataracts generally occur as part of the natural aging process, and develop slowly over a number of years. As one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States, cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial one, called an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Illinois Eye Center uses the latest technology to assess each patient’s cataracts in order to help determine the best IOL to fit their lifestyle, needs and personality.
As you grow older, there are various health challenges that naturally arise with age. However, by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having regular health exams, you can be one of the 41% of adults over 65 who say they have very good or excellent health. No matter your age, it’s important to learn what to expect from your eyesight and how you can promote healthy aging.
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide, and more than 24 million Americans age 40 and older have a cataract. That’s why Prevent Blindness America recognizes June as Cataract Awareness Month.
The word “surgery” can sound scary, especially when it comes to your eyes. But for many people affected by cataracts, surgery can restore the ability to clearly see a grandchild's first smiles, drive safely at night and enjoy an evening book without reading glasses. For those people, cataract surgery can mean a brighter life.