June is Cataract awareness month. Here at Health First Optometry, we are happy to help you understand exactly what your Optometrist means when they diagnose Cataracts forming in your eye.

Cataracts are described as clouding or yellowing of the Crystalline lens. It happens to almost everyone over time and most likely after the age of 60. However, some babies are born with congenital cataracts.

This yellowing of the lens may develop slowly over many years or they may form rapidly in a matter of months and can develop without pain or redness.

A full eye exam with an Optometrist can determine if you have Cataracts.

Symptoms include cloudiness in your vision or a curtain-like film, difficulty with night vision or halo’s around streetlights, color vision dulling and light sensitivity.

While there is no known prevention, there are things you can do to help slow the process such as wearing your sunglasses to protect from UV rays; consuming foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, dark greens and of course carrots!

If the cataracts are in the beginning stages, treatment can be as simple as getting a new pair of glasses to improve the sharpness of your vision.

However, a referral to an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) is required when cataracts have progressed to the point that new glasses no longer support your vision.

A recent study has shown that taking care of dry eye syndrome before cataract surgery provides patients not only with more comfortable eyes but also better vision after surgery.

An eye specialist will assess you and determine if you are a candidate for removal of the clouding lens. A clear replacement lens will be implanted instead, this is a very safe and fairly quick procedure. It may improve your distance vision, however, you may still need your reading glasses for near vision. There are also risks and limitations that should be discussed with an optometrist or ophthalmologist prior to undergoing the procedure.

It is important to stay educated and informed about the health of your eyes!

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    *new location for health plus and south calgary eyecare - now health first optometry!
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