More than half of all Americans age 80 or older either have cataracts or have had surgery to get rid of cataracts.
A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of your eye. Cataracts are very common as you get older. At first, you may not notice that you have a cataract. But over time, cataracts can make your vision blurry, hazy, or less colorful. You may have trouble reading or doing other everyday activities.
Most cataracts are age-related – they happen because of normal changes in your eyes as you get older. But you can get cataracts for other reasons. Examples include:
- Steroids, common medications to treat conditions like arthritis and lupus.
- Phenothiazine drugs such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine®), used to treat a variety of conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
- Eye surgery or eye injuries.
- Radiation treatment to your upper body.
- Spending a lot of time in the sun without eye protection, like sunglasses.
The good news is that surgery can get rid of cataracts. Cataract surgery is safe and corrects vision problems caused by cataracts. You can have cataract surgery at JMHS through outreach physician, Dr. Curtis Louwagie. Dr. Louwagie is a board certified ophthalmologist with over 16 years of experience. He specializes in lens and cataract procedures, retinal detachment repair, corneal surgery, eye muscle surgery and lasik surgery. Dr. Louwagie replaces services previously offered by Dr. VandenBosch and Dr. Ollerton.
If you have cataracts, ask your Optometrist to schedule your procedure at JMHS. Call 320-769-4323 today!