(NewsUSA) – Though cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss worldwide, myths persist about their cause and treatment. Cataracts affect nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older. By age 80, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts, according to the National Eye Institute.
“Cataracts are not preventable, but they are treatable,” said Richard P. Mills, MD, “and the best way to ensure vision stays healthy for a lifetime is to schedule a visit with an ophthalmologist. More than 90 percent of the people who have cataract surgery regain useful vision.”
As the eye’s lens, located behind the pupil, grows older, its cells die and accumulate. The result is blurred vision and “fuzzy” images. Eye injuries, certain medications and diseases such as diabetes are also known to cause cataracts. In the early stages, stronger lighting and eyeglasses may lessen vision problems caused by cataracts. But at a certain point, cataract surgery — the most frequently performed operation in the country — may be necessary. There are four common cataract myths to dispel: