Your Vision is Important – Take Care of it
Your Vision Is Important – Take Care of It
Don’t you love getting older?
As we do, our health starts to deteriorate. It seems just like our cars, televisions and other appliances we have, the older we get the more prone we are to having various parts of our bodies wear out and break down.
One thing that wears out for many of us is our eye sight. Personally, I took pride in not needing glasses. I had 20/20 vision until I was in my late 40’s.
Then all of sudden I started going downhill. I couldn’t read the print in newspapers, magazines or books. So, I had to get glasses.
Sometime afterwards, I started having problems seeing things further away. I had to have my glasses changed and I started to wear bifocals. I am kind of vain. I got no-line bifocals so no one could see I needed glasses for seeing things both close and far way.
My vision has continued to deteriorate over the years and I have had to get my prescriptions changed. I haven’t had an eye exam in several years and am due for one. Needless to say, I have been putting that off.
About 10 years ago, they started checking me for cataracts. At the time of my next eye exam, they will check for that again.
Not Familiar with Cataracts? Here is What You Need to Know
In each of our eyes, there is a lens. That lens works like the lens of a camera. It enables us to see clearly things both close and far away. This lens is clear.
As many of us age, protein in each of these lenses starts to get cloudy. That makes it more difficult for us to see. There are different causes of this. Some are:
- Normal aging
- Excessive exposure to light from the sun and other sources
- Heart problems
- High Blood Pressure
- Previous eye injuries
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- Prolonged use of steroid medications
Take a Look Around You.
One out of every 6 people over 40 years of age will develop cataracts. By the time they’re 80 years old, one out of every two people can expect to develop them. Women are slightly more common to have cataracts than men.
What are some of the signs you might be developing a cataract?
- Poor night vision
- Blurred or cloudy vision
- Unusual sensitivity to lights at night, especially car lights
- Double vision in one eye
- Halos around lights
- Colors appear to be fading or yellowed
If you do have a cataract, how is it corrected? Most of the time surgery is necessary. Your eye doctor will tell you when is the best time to have it.
One Good Thing . . .
. . . Over the years, there have been tremendous improvements in cataract surgery. Years ago, a patient was required to stay in the hospital for several days. After the surgery, patients had to wear an eye patch for several weeks. Normally several months passed before the surgery was done on the other eye.
Great advancements have been made in the surgery itself and there is minimal risk for the patient.
Now the surgery is done on an outpatient basis. During it, the lens is removed. In most cases a new plastic one is inserted. Following the surgery 9 out of 10 people have their vision restored to somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40. Most people also still require reading glasses.
There is some discomfort for patients for several weeks following the surgery. Normally eye patches are not required. Complete healing takes about 8 weeks.
An Eye Exam for People 60 and Older Every 2 Years
Since cataracts are more common in older people, eye doctors recommend each person from age 60 on have an eye exam every two years. During those exams, the doctor will check not only for cataracts but for any other problems with the eyes. If there is a problem, the earlier it is found, the faster it can be treated.
If you haven’t heard about cataracts before and you are over 50, please get an eye exam. If you are over 60 and it’s been more than 2 years since you had your eyes checked, please schedule an eye exam now.
You don’t want to risk losing your sight to a problem which is so easily corrected.
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