Seeing Clearly Past Cataracts (Video)

As we age, our eyes begin to change. After age 40, proteins in the lens begin to break down and make them cloudy. A cataract may develop causing hazy and sometimes blurry vision.

“Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process,” said Gaston Lacayo, III, M.D., an ophthalmologist affiliated with Baptist Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital.

“Just like gray hair and wrinkles,” he added.

Cataracts may make your world look less colorful and cause you to need more light for reading. By age 80, half of all Americans will have developed a cataract. Yearly, three million people in the United States have surgery to remove cataracts, making it the most common surgical procedure in the U.S.

(Video: The Baptist Health South Florida News Team hears from Gaston Lacayo, III, M.D., about the recent advances in cataract surgery and the importance of annual eye exams.)

Although age is the most common cause for cataracts, there are others. These factors can be ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, smoking and diabetes. With UV exposure and smoking, the lens undergoes oxidation. With diabetes, a large amount of sugar in the blood leads to metabolic changes to the lens.

To prolong the development of cataracts and the effects they have on vision, Dr. Lacayo recommends people wear UV-protective eyewear while in the sun, quit smoking and control their blood sugar if they have diabetes.

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