Valley Healthcare

Going into June, get ready to take a closer look at your eye health. June is National Cataracts Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to schedule a long-overdue eye exam and catch up with your eye care professional. Quality of vision affects your quality of life way more than you might think – especially if you’re already used to wearing prescription eyeglasses or contacts. As you get older, you can face other vision challenges, one of which is cataracts.

Cataracts is a condition involving clouding of the eye’s lens. This “clouding” can ultimately affect vision by blocking light from entering the eye, but unlike many conditions which cause permanent blindness, cataracts can be reversed. In fact, cataract surgery is a routine surgery, among the most common procedures performed in the U.S., with a 95% success rate.

The causes of cataract aren’t fully known, but they are more common as people age and you have a great chance of developing them as you get older. Some risk factors include extended exposure to UV rays or intense heat, diseases like diabetes, long-term steroid use, injury or disease of the eye, and smoking. They can also be affected by heredity.

Cataracts aren’t necessarily a painful condition, but they can be marked by blurred vision, “ghost” images in the eye, or the sense of a film over the eyes. If you have a cataract, you may find that you have a sensitivity to light or that you need bright light in order to read or work.

National non-profit Prevent Blindness America offers free information through its webpage, or by calling toll-free 1-800-331-2020. Also, you can call Valley Healthcare System’s main line at 706-322-9599 extension 1500 to schedule a vision screening or comprehensive eyecare with Dr. Lakesha Story, Optometrist, and staff.