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Learn About the Importance of Cataract Awareness

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Cataract Awareness Month is an annual event held in June that raises awareness about cataracts, an eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatments, such as cataract surgery, is important to prevent vision loss. Below, Dr. Scott Kirk breaks down the key aspects of cataracts and how to help keep your eyes healthy.

If you experience changes in vision or are concerned about cataracts, call Kirk Eye Center for an appointment in River Forest, Glen Ellyn, Gurnee, or Chicago, IL. Our trained professionals can provide comprehensive eye exams and discuss your options.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding of the natural lens in the eye. This clouding occurs when protein deposits build up on the lens, causing it to become opaque. As cataracts progress, they can interfere with vision and may lead to blindness if left untreated.

What causes cataracts?

There is no single cause that leads to the development of cataracts. However, certain risk factors may increase your risk:

  • Age: Cataracts are most commonly associated with aging and tend to develop in people over 60 years old.
  • Genetics: If you have a family history of cataracts, you may be at a higher risk of developing them.
  • Medical conditions: Diabetes and high blood pressure have both been linked to cataracts.
  • Lifestyle factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and prolonged exposure to UV rays also contribute to cataract formation.

Common cataract symptoms

The most common cataract symptom is a gradual decline in vision quality. This may manifest as blurry vision, double vision, sensitivity to light, difficulty seeing at night, halos around lights, or changes in color perception. Other signs include needing brighter light for reading as well as frequent eyeglass prescription changes.

Some people also report a loss of contrast sensitivity, which makes it challenging to distinguish objects in low light or against a background of similar color. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, schedule an eye exam as soon as possible in River Forest, Glen Ellyn, Gurnee, or Chicago, IL. Dr. Kirk can perform an assessment, offer a diagnosis, and discuss possible treatments.

How are cataracts treated?

In the early stages, cataracts can be managed with prescription glasses or contacts. But as they progress, cataract surgery may be necessary to replace the opaque lens with a clear one. At Kirk Eye Center in the Chicago area, we use advanced technology, such as laser-assisted cataract surgery, to provide the best possible outcomes for our patients.

What can I do to prevent cataracts?

This Cataract Awareness Month, take steps to protect your eye health and prevent the formation of cataracts. Here are some tips:

  • Get regular eye exams: Annual eye exams can help detect cataracts early on, allowing for timely treatment.
  • Protect your eyes: Remember to wear sunglasses with UV protection when spending time outdoors to reduce your exposure to harmful sun rays.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Eat foods rich in antioxidants, such as leafy greens, colorful fruits, and vegetables to support eye health.
  • Manage underlying medical conditions: Diabetes and high blood pressure both contribute to the development of cataracts. Work with your primary healthcare provider to manage these conditions.

Learn more about cataracts this Cataract Awareness Month

Cataracts may be a common eye condition, but they can have a big impact on your vision and quality. By understanding cataract symptoms and treatment options at Kirk Eye Center, you can ensure clear vision for years to come. Book an appointment with Dr. Scott Kirk this Cataract Awareness Month. Our River Forest, Glen Ellyn, Gurnee, and Chicago, IL locations are here to serve your eye care needs.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.