Did you know that your eyes work a little like an analog camera? When you take a photograph, light passes through the camera lens and is focused on the film. The photo is taken when the light touches the film. The eye works in the same way. The lens in your eye is transparent, so light passes through it and is focused on a thin layer of tissue we call the retina. The retina is the equivalent of your photographic film. When the light touches your retina, the image is sent to the brain.
Over time, the lens in your eye can become cloudy, preventing light rays from passing through it clearly. This causes your vision to become blurry and more sensitive to glare, especially at night, or colors to appear less vibrant. This deterioration of the eye is called a cataract.
There are a number of factors that can cause cataracts:
- Prolonged exposure of your eyes to ultraviolet light
- Medications such as steroids
- Systemic illnesses like diabetes
However, the most common cause is aging. Cataracts develop in more than one in five people age 65 or over, more than one in three age 75 and over, and nearly two in three age 85 and over. Fortunately, you can help prevent cataracts by wearing good quality sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to reduce your exposure to ultraviolet light.
Once a cataract has developed, surgery is the only solution. This type of surgery is very common and is performed safely on millions of people every year.
For more information, feel free to contact your Opto-Réseau optometrist.