10 Cataract Facts for Cataract Awareness Month

June 10th, 2016
young african american woman thinking

June is National Cataract Awareness Month. This extremely common eye disease affects millions of people but is easily treatable — and can even be corrected with a fast, minor and virtually pain-free surgical procedure.
In honor of cataract awareness month, we’ve gathered some facts to help you become more familiar with this eye disease.
Did you know…

#1 Cataracts are a natural result of aging — a cataract is a clouding of the eye lens that can affect vision clarity

Cataracts is a common eye disease that can happen simply because of age. Cataracts can effect one or both eyes. To make sure cataracts don’t affect your vision, it’s important to get regular eye exams — especially if you’re over the age of 55.

#2 Age is not the only risk factor for cataracts. Lifestyle and behavior can also have an influence

Aside from aging, certain hereditary and physical traits, along with certain lifestyle habits, can contribute to the development of cataracts. Here are a few factors that can increase your chance of developing a cataract:

  • Family history of cataracts
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

#3 Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and eating foods rich in Vitamin C are two lifestyle changes that may help lower your risk for cataracts

Proactively protecting your eyes won’t stop cataracts from forming, but it can lower your risk. Always way UV-blocking sunglasses or a shady hat when outdoors on a sunny day and eat a balanced diet that’s rich in vision-supporting foods.

#4 By age 75, over 70% of people have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.

Since it’s largely age related, cataracts are extremely common. Many people who develop a cataract undergo cataract surgery to remove the cloudy lens and restore their vision.

#5 Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world

Cataracts is a clouding of the eye lens — a vital part of clear vision. Left untreated, cataracts can lead to partial or total blindness. This, coupled with the fact that cataracts can naturally occur with age, makes it a dangerous disease if not proactively addressed.

#6 By 2050 the number of people in the U.S. with a cataract is expected to double to 50 million

Between 2010 and 2019, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day, according to Pew Research. As the large baby boomer generation and following generations age, the number of cataract cases is expected to naturally increase.

#7 Cataract surgery is nearly painless and typically takes under 30 minutes

Cataracts can be quickly and effectively treated with surgery. The natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). This new lens allows the patient to see clearly again.

#8 Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery in the U.S. each year

Because cataracts are so common, and because the issue can be easily treated at a very high success rate, cataract surgery has become extremely common place. Patients suffering from cataracts or who notice their vision blurring and the surface of their eye(s) looking cloudy should schedule an eye exam immediately.

#9 In addition to improving vision, cataract surgery has also been shown to improve quality of life and reduce the risk of falling

Better vision means you can get back to doing the things you love and have to worry less that poor sight could contribute to a devastating fall.

About ICON Eyecare

ICON Eyecare is a leading surgical and medical eye care provider based out of Denver, CO. Since 1999, ICON has been building a Center of Ophthalmology Excellence empowered by an expert team of board certified physician specialists, the most advanced laser technology and a culture of quality and extraordinary patient care. In coordination with referring optometrists and physicians, ICON Eyecare specializes in treating patients with cataracts, advanced forms of glaucoma and other age and disease related conditions, while providing innovative options for patients seeking LASIK and cosmetic eye procedures. With 14 patient care centers located in Colorado and Texas, ICON Eyecare is expanding within the broader western U.S. region. For more information, please call (720) 524-1001, or visit iconeyecare.com.