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The Eyes Have It: Cataracts

The Eyes Have It


In the last year we’ve been looking at some health issues including cancer due to exposure to the sun, and the effects of tanning. The sun a very necessary part of how we exist, but does present some problems for us as we reported earlier. When I was younger, and needed to look cool, you would wear your white tee shirt rolled up, that pack of cigarettes in your sleeve and put on a pair of “Shades,“ Aviator style.. Did I just date myself? The problem was I wore glasses so I had to wear expensive prescription sunglasses or the clip on style, from the drug store or gas station. How do you spell “NERD?” Over the years of course, the over the glasses styles got better and photo grey lenses became popular, all in an effort to be cool.

As I grew older, I noticed that my parents did too. Go figure. Dad especially didn’t like to drive at night, he was in his early 70’s then, and so nighttime driving became a challenge for him and the family. Dad mentioned that he just didn’t see well at night. Yes I had the “Is there a problem Dad” Speech with him. He agreed to have his eyes checked. I told him the same thing he used to tell me “stop reading those @#$% magazines or you are going to go blind.” I told him I would stop when I had to get glasses. We both laughed. We weren’t laughing however when the optometrist told him he had cataracts in both eyes that needed to be removed. Dad has since passed away, but I learned a valuable lesson about protecting your eyes, from the sun especially as we age.

Below is some valuable information from “The National Eye Institute

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Most cataracts are cataractsrelated to aging. Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.

A cataract can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other.

You do not have to be a senior citizen to get cataracts it can start in your 40’s

The most common symptoms of a cataract are:

-Cloudy or blurry vision. -Colors seem faded. -Glare. Headlights, lamps, or sunlight may appear too bright. A halo may appear around lights. -Poor night vision. -Double vision or multiple images in one eye. (This symptom may clear as the cataract gets larger.) -Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses. -These symptoms also can be a sign of other eye problems. If you have any of these symptoms, check with your eye care professional.

Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block ultraviolet sunlight may help to delay cataract. If you smoke, stop. Researchers also believe good nutrition can help reduce the risk of age-related cataract. They recommend eating green leafy vegetables, fruit, and other foods with antioxidants.

The risk of cataract increases as you get older. Other risk factors for cataract include:

-Certain diseases such as diabetes. -Personal behavior such as smoking and alcohol use. -The environment such as prolonged exposure to sunlight.

For more information about cataracts, what they are, where they come from, and how they can be prevented and treated please visit the Link above.

Why is this information important? Our work force is aging and it can become a serious safety factor in the workplace. We’ve discussed behavior based safety and looking out for one another on numerous occasions. Be a part of a push to encourage proper eye wear and make sunglasses a part of your personal safety routine for PPE even in the winter when the glare from the snow causes you to squint. Protect your eyes you only get one set!

One thought on “The Eyes Have It: Cataracts”

  • Hugo Lima Cordeiro May 6, 2015 at 3:35 am

    Very good explanation. And most important is go to optometrist / ophthalmologist annually.

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