Cataract Awareness Month

NJ elder care issue: Cataract and Vision Awareness

Every month in our Community Resource Bulletin, we spotlight NJ elder care issues relevant to today’s senior population. This August, all eyes are focusing on Cataract Awareness Month.

Cataracts Are the Leading Cause of Blindness Worldwide

Cataract Facts

  • Cataracts are common—about 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts. More than half of all Americans develop cataracts by age 80.
  • Cataracts are a significant cause of blindness in some parts of the world; however, technological advances and the availability of new procedures in the U.S. mean that for most Americans, cataracts don’t lead to vision loss.
  • A cataract clouds the eye’s lens and prevents light from passing through, causing blurriness. Cataracts are not a growth or a film over the eye.
  • Cataracts are mild at first and have little effect on vision, but as the cataract becomes denser, so does the impact on vision. See your ophthalmologist if you experience painless blurring of vision, sensitivity to light and glare, double vision in one eye, poor night vision, fading or yellowing of colors, and/or frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescriptions.
  • Cataracts aren’t always developed as part of the aging process. They can also result from eye injuries, certain diseases (such as diabetes), genetic inheritance, certain medications, frequent unprotected exposure to UV-A and UV-B rays, and/or smoking.
  • Cataracts won’t disappear by taking medication. Cataract surgery is safe, effective, and usually done as an outpatient procedure. However, if cataracts don’t interfere with your life, you may decide not to have surgery. There is no exercise or treatment which can prevent cataracts.

Your eyesight isn’t something to take for granted—get your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist soon!

Adults over 65 should have eye exams every 1–2 years.

For more great information about vision, download the pdf our August Community Resource Bulletin. In it you’ll find helpful tips on:

  • Lighting Considerations for Persons with Low Vision
  • Home Modifications for Persons with Vision Impairments
  • Assistive Products for Those with Vision Impairment