Cataract Awareness Month
March is Cataract Awareness Month. Cataracts are simply
a thickening of the lens in the eye, which can result from heredity, aging,
diabetes, infections, or the use of certain medications like steroids. The
major symptom is a progressive, painless loss of vision. Depending upon the
location of the cataract, certain types of vision may be affected more than
There are several conditions that can affect vision, so it's a good idea to
have regular, annual check-ups with your eye doctor once you reach 40. Before
then, adults should have an eye exam every 2-3 years. If an early cataract
is detected, doctors will recommend more frequent checkups and eyeglass prescription
changes. Surgery is recommended if eyeglasses are no longer able to provide
the visual function necessary for driving, reading or other activities. This
can generally be performed with local anesthesia as an outpatient. A new lens
is generally implanted as part of the procedure, and patients will take antibiotics
and steroid drops for 4 weeks after surgery. Surgical success rates are high
for patients with uncomplicated cases.
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Created: 3/9/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.