August is Cataract Awareness and Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month

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Cataract Awareness

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye.  If you think of the eye as a camera, the lens is the piece that focuses the picture.  There are many different types of cataracts, ranging from congenital cataracts to “Christmas tree” cataracts to total white cataracts.  The most common types are nuclear cataracts, cortical cataracts and posterior sub-capsular cataracts.  The surgery for all cataracts is almost the same with some modifications for certain types.

What causes a cataract?

The main causes of the most common cataracts include aging, UV exposure, poor nutrition, radiation exposure, long term steroid use and diabetes.  Trauma to the eyes can also cause cataracts.

How do you treat cataracts?

There is no medical therapy for cataracts at this time.  If the cataract or clouding of the lens is significant enough to decrease your vision on the eye chart and interfere with your activities of daily living, hobbies or work, then you can consider cataract surgery and discuss it with your eye physician and surgeon.

What are the risks of cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery in the USA and the most successful.  Any surgery in the body has the risks of bleeding and infection, and fortunately these are low risks in cataract surgery.  Additionally there are low risks of pain, needing a second surgery, glaucoma, corneal problems, macular edema, retinal detachment, loss of vision or loss of the eye.  Review your particular risks with your eye physician and surgeon and let’s get you back to enjoying what you love to do.

Learn more about your Lens implant choices for Cataract Surgery. Download our brochure »

Why is Cataract Awareness Month important?

Cataract Awareness Month is sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.  Cataracts are the leading cause of reversible blindness in the USA and in the world.  A sophisticated surgery is readily available to help you get back to seeing again here in the USA.  Across the globe, however, people have limited resources and sometimes are unable to get the surgery and are blinded by cataracts.  Many nonprofit organizations and companies sponsor trips abroad to volunteer and help those people in need as well as clinics here in the USA.  Many clinics abroad are also now pioneering new techniques in the surgery for severe dense cataracts and helping those around them.

Major Organizations helping cataract patients in the USA and the world (listed alphabetically):

Eye Care America
Himalayan Cataract Project 
International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)
Mission Cataract USA
National Eye Institute’s Financial Aid for Eye Care Website
Project Vision – China
Unite for Sight
World Health Organization VISION 2020

Come in and talk to your eye physician about your eyes!

What is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month?

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month is sponsored by Prevent Blindness America to raise awareness about the differences between children’s eyes and adult eyes including a risk of amblyopia and higher risk of damage from UV light and household accidents.  August is chosen to highlight children’s eye health as school starts and children may begin to have problems focusing.

What should I look for?

If your child has any of the following, consult your eye physician soon for appropriate diagnosis and treatment to help your child’s success in school and in life.  If your child has a serious eye condition, consider visiting with a pediatric ophthalmologist.

Strabismus or eyes not aligned with each other
Squinting at near or distance
Prolonged crusting or tearing of the eyes
Ptosis or droopy eyelid
Family History of childhood eye problems

What is Amblyopia?

Amblyopia is more commonly known as a “lazy eye” when the brain starts to ignore one eye as the vision out of that eye is not as clear as the other eye and it cannot merge the data from the two eyes.  When one eye has amblyopia, the eye can wander out and be misaligned (strabismus).  If caught early, amblyopia can be treated via various methods with good success.

Where can I learn more? 

Children’s Eye Injuries: Prevention and Care
Eye Health Information for Babies and Children
American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus: AMBLYOPIA 
National Eye Institute: AMBLYOPIA
Get Eye Smart: AMBLYOPIA 


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Everhart Eye Associates
204 Virginia Street
Ashland, Virginia 23005
Ph. 804.752.7508 | Fx. 804.798.6876

Everhart Eye Associates welcomes new patients. We serve individuals from across Virginia. For an appointment, contact us at (804) 752-7508.

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