The Eyes Have It
By Kathy Ferguson, RN, Parish Nurse
The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them. Proverbs 20:12
The eyes are amazing organs. I often wonder how God created the complex system that is the eye. June is Cataract Awareness Month which is a good time to think about your marvelous eyes.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. Mild clouding of the lens often occurs after age 60 and by age 75, most people with cataracts have symptoms that affect their vision.
What is it like to have a cataract?
People who have cataracts often describe having blurry, cloudy, fuzzy, or foggy vision; being sensitive to glare; difficulty seeing at night or in dim light; problems seeing shapes against a background; or seeing halos around lights.
What causes cataracts?
According to Mayo Clinic, these factors that have been found to increase your risk of developing cataracts: increasing age, diabetes, excessive exposure to sunlight, family history, high blood pressure, previous eye injury, previous eye surgery, obesity, smoking, and others.
What should I do if I have vision changes or think I have a cataract?
If you have vision changes you should see an eye doctor for evaluation to determine the cause.
What is the treatment for cataracts?
When symptoms begin to appear, you may be able to improve your vision for a while by making sure your eyeglass prescription is accurate, using a magnifying glass to read, having appropriate lighting, wearing sunglasses outdoors to reduce glare, and limiting driving at night. Surgery, the only effective treatment for cataracts, is considered when vision is so impaired that it affects daily life.
What are some ways that I can protect my vision?
• Eat foods that can help lead to good eye health, such as: green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, oily fish (for example, salmon or tuna), and eggs, nuts, beans.
• Quit smoking or don’t start.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of both UVA and UVB rays.
• Use safety glasses/goggles if you work with hazardous or airborne materials.
• Get a comprehensive eye exam.