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According to a recent article from AARP, getting treatment for cataracts, a common eye disorder for people 40 and older, not only has the potential to repair your vision; it could possibly increase your life span by improving overall health.

The 20-year study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, was conducted on 74,044 women ages 65 and older who suffered from cataracts. It found a 60 percent lower risk of death among 41,735 women who had their cataracts removed, the New York Times reports.

The reason? Anne L. Coleman, M.D., and colleagues at the Stein Eye Institute of the David Geffen School of Medicineexplained that when people are able to see better, “they can also move more and get more exercise. They can see their pills better and may be more likely to take them and take the right ones. The surgery also improves visual contrast, which decreases the risk of accidental deaths from falls or driving. It’s important to get the best vision a person can have.”

Cataracts will affect almost everyone eventually. By 2050, the projected number of people in the U.S. with cataracts is expected to double from 24.4 million to about 50 million (NEI). 

So, what can you do to protect your vision?

  • Pay attention to changes in your vision
    Cataracts occur when the lens inside the eye gets cloudy and thick. Changes in vision resulting from cataract development can range from very subtle to extreme. Increased glare, trouble with night driving and difficulty reading are the most common symptoms.
  • Schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor
    The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that you get a baseline eye examination at age 40, the time when early signs of disease or changes in vision may occur. A baseline screening can help identify signs of eye disease at an early stage when many treatments can have the greatest impact on preserving vision. AAO also recommends that if you have an eye disease, or a risk factor for developing one, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of eye disease, you should see an ophthalmologist even if you are younger than 40.
  • Address cataract issues promptly
    Waiting for a cataract to become “ripe” is an antiquated concept. Cataract surgery is undertaken when the cataract begins to interfere with quality of life or visual functioning. The cloudy lens is removed surgically and the artificial intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted.The timing of surgical intervention is critical to achieve the best outcome and quality of vision possible. Good timing can also lower the rate of complications and prevent blindness or permanent vision impairment in many cases.

See what you’ve been missing. Discover advanced surgical eye care. Trust ZIEKEREYE Ophthalmology for effective solutions to cataracts, glaucoma and other vision problems. Call us at 518.450.1080 or use our convenient online Request an Appointment form to reach our appointment schedulers. 

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