Cataracts are a common cause of vision loss as we age, but they are treatable. A cataract happens when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy. The lens must be clear in order to focus light properly onto the retina.

For many, the risk of cataracts can be reduced. “The most important thing is to shield your eyes from ultraviolet light”, Says Dr. Thomas Patrionakos, so be sure to protect your eyes with sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB and wear a hat or cap with a brim.”

As a cataract slowly begins to develop, you may not notice any changes in your vision at first. Eventually, however, you will notice your vision is blurry, cloudy or dim. More than 20 million adults, age 40 and over in the United States are affected by the lens-clouding eye condition. Fortunately, cataract surgery can correct the vision loss.

The American Academy of Ophthamology (AAO) now recommends that adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease get a baseline eye disease screening at age 40 – the time when early warning signs of disease  or changes in vision may occur. Regular screenings are key to prevention of vision loss.