Cataracts: Understanding the Silent Thief of Vision

Cataract

June is Cataract Awareness Month, so let’s raise awareness among Australians about this common eye condition that affects many older Australians.

Did you know? Cataracts are a primary cause of blindness worldwide, and it’s essential to understand the risks and symptoms to prevent vision loss.

Raising Awareness Regarding Healthy Vision Starts With Clarity

During May, we discussed Macular Awareness Month, shedding light on vision health at the back of the eye. You can check out that article here. Now though, let’s discuss more about the front of the eye and the corneal lens and dig into cataracts.

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s corneal lens, and it’s responsible for focusing light onto the retina. As we age, lens proteins can clump together and become cloudy, consequently losing their transparency. This build-up causes blurred or distorted vision. The flow-on results from the inability for light to pass neatly through the front lens of the eye lead to some pretty immediate vision issues:

  • Difficulty seeing details at night.
  • Increased sensitivity to light.
  • Visual aura (such as seeing halos around lights).

Many clients and customers (perhaps even your own friends or family members who have a cataract developing) describe looking through a cataract as though they were looking through cling wrap, a frosted window or a foggy pair of glasses. These are pretty accurate descriptions!

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as making a stronger pair of glasses or turning on more household lights. Cataracts really are vision thieves!

How many Australians are effect by cataracts?

The Aussie Outdoor Lifestyle & Cataracts

A recent web article by the AIHW (Australian Institue of Health and Welfare) noted the impact of ultraviolet radiation (UV) on eye health, sighting that whilst UV assists the body in manufacturing vitamin D (WHO 2019), it is estimated that UV could be responsible for 20% of cataracts globally (WHO 2019), and approximately 1.7% of the presentation of cataracts in Australians. The article and associated statistics are available here*. Percentages like this mean that, on average, 411,000 Aussies reportedly experience vision loss due to cataracts.

The link between our beautiful outdoor lifestyle, exposure to UV radiation, and eye health is clear; by looking after our eyes throughout our lives, we can minimise cataract prevalence for all members of our families.

Cataract Action Plans Start With Eye Tests

If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these symptoms mentioned earlier, now’s the time to act. But first, it’s vital to make an appointment with your optometrist. The good news is that cataracts are operable. The procedure is safe and highly effective, with a high success rate.

Cataracts can be spotted very early by trained optometrical professionals – regular eye tests by an optometrist can cater for treatment, support, and ongoing care for your vision-care needs.

At Optical Superstore, we offer a space for independently operating optometrists to conduct comprehensive eye exams and cataract evaluations to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care. Bulk Bill eye testing services through Medicare every day across our 55+ store locations—Australia-wide.

Don’t let cataracts steal your vision (or your family’s). Rather, take action today and schedule an appointment with Optical Superstore either online or by phone.

Our friendly staff and your independent eyecare provider are ready to help you on your vision journey, and we’re committed to providing the highest quality eye care to all Australians. Remember, early detection (through regular eye tests) and treatment are key to preserving your vision and maintaining your quality of life.

During June, why not act on this call to action during CATARACT AWARENESS MONTH?

You can book a bulk-billed eye test online or call our National Number, putting you in touch with your closes branch of The Optical Superstore.

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1300 626 774