Cataracts are a common eye condition affecting millions of people, often leading to blurred or cloudy vision. Amid all the information about this condition remain some misconceptions that need to be cleared up. Our resident optometrist debunks some of the biggest myths surrounding cataracts to help you better understand it.
Myth #1: Cataracts Only Affect the Elderly
While it’s true that cataracts are more common in older individuals, they can also develop in younger people due to changes in the proteins within the eye’s natural lens. Risk factors include UV radiation, diabetes, smoking, and a history of eye injuries. Regular eye exams are necessary for early detection and treatment.
Myth #2: Eye Strain Causes Cataracts
Many people believe that straining your eyes (e.g. staring at screens for long periods) can cause cataracts. However, this is not the case. The actual causes of cataracts are generally related to aging, injury, certain medical conditions, or genetic factors. While eye strain can contribute to other vision problems, it does not directly cause cataracts.
Myth #3: Wearing Eyeglasses Can Prevent Cataracts
Eyeglasses can help improve vision but cannot prevent the development of cataracts. Regular eye exams are the best way to ensure your eyes stay healthy and to help you detect any early signs of cataracts or other eye conditions. An optometrist can provide these services.
Myth #4: Cataract Surgery Is Dangerous
Cataract surgery done by a reliable eye doctor is a safe and effective treatment for most patients. It involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial one, usually resulting in improved vision. Most patients experience a short recovery time.
Myth #5: Cataracts Can Grow Back After Surgery
Some people worry that cataracts can grow back after being removed. And while patients may experience a secondary cataract, it is different from the original cataract, which an eye doctor can treat with a laser.
Learning about cataracts is essential for good eye health and making informed decisions. If you need to see an eye doctor in Chambersburg, PA, contact Dr. Joel McGahen’s optometry office at (717) 264-4012 today. You can also visit the contact page on his website to schedule an appointment!