June is Cataract Awareness Month

June is Cataract Awareness Month, so we are taking this opportunity to answer common questions our optometrists often receive about cataracts.

What are cataracts?

This common condition affects more than 2.5 million Canadians and is the leading cause of treatable blindness in the world.

Cataracts are typically an age-related condition that progressively clouds the eye’s lens, which reduces vision in the affected eye. The eye’s lens comprises protein fibres, and as we age, the protein fibres form clumps causing cloudiness. If left untreated, it can cause blindness.

How can I tell if I have cataracts?

The changes in your vision will happen gradually, so you may not notice symptoms developing at first. But as the clouding of the lens becomes denser, you’re likely to experience some signs, like:

  • Blurred, dim or reduced vision, making it difficult to make out details or colours
  • Changes to the colour of the pupil – it may look white
  • Difficulty seeing in low light or at night
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seeing a ‘halo’ around bright lights

How can I prevent cataracts?

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any study to show that cataracts are preventable. But, there are ways to slow the progression, for example:

  • Regular eye exams. Your optometrist can detect early signs of cataracts; therefore, yearly eye exams are recommended for early diagnosis.
  • Limit your UV exposure. When outdoors, wear quality sunglasses that protect your eyes.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol.
  • Eat plenty of leafy greens and add supplements like omega-3 and turmeric to your diet.

Are cataracts treatable?

Surgery is the answer. This is a painless procedure with a short recovery time during which the eye’s lens is swapped out for a new artificial one.

Do you have more questions about cataracts? Contact your local IRIS Optometrist or book online.

Did you know CARP members receive exclusive offers at IRIS?

  • $150 IRIS Certificate: Redeemable towards the purchase of eyeglasses or sunglasses including a frame (such as custom tailored Topology frames) and a pair of fully coated prescription lenses (lens value minimum value of $250)
  • $50 IRIS CertificateRedeemable towards the purchase of a pair of fully coated progressive lenses for your current frames (minimum value of $250)
  • $25 IRIS Certificate: Redeemable towards the purchase of a pair of fully coated single vision lenses for your current frames (minimum value of $250)
  • $50 IRIS Certificate: Redeemable towards the purchase of non-prescription sunglasses valued at $100 or more.
  • $50 IRIS Certificate: Redeemable towards the purchase of annual supply of contact lenses.
  • $250 IRIS Certificate: Redeemable for laser eye surgery both eyes or $250 per eye for specific intraocular lens replacement. (Available at our Ophthalmology Clinic in Laval, Quebec only)

Register with CARP and receive your IRIS Benefits. Visit www.carp.ca.