Try to imagine a world where your vision gradually fades, making it difficult to recognize the faces of your family or enjoy the beauty of a sunset. This scenario is all too real for millions of people affected by cataracts, a common eye condition that causes clouding of the eye lens.

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The Centers for Disease Control attributes cataracts as being the number one cause of blindness in the United States. There is good news though. Cataracts can be treated and prevented. Plus, it's easier than you think.

June is National Cataract Awareness Month and it's time to shed some light on what exactly a cataract is, how it can be easily treated, and the role that regular eye check-ups play in preserving clear vision.

LOOK: FROM CLOUDY TO CRYSTAL CLEAR, CATARACT CAUSES AND SUCCESSFUL TREATMENTS

Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva
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What Is a Cataract?

According to the American Academy of Opthalmology, a cataract is a common eye condition that affects the lens, the clear part of your eye that helps focus light onto the retina. When you have a cataract, the lens becomes cloudy, much like a fogged-up window, making your vision hazy and blurred. It may feel like you're looking through a smudged camera lens. Cataracts sneak up on you because they develop slowly over time. The video below from the AAO goes into further detail.

What Causes Cataracts?

While aging is the primary reason contributing to cataracts, there are other causes. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, medications, diseases like diabetes, smoking, and some eye injuries can increase the risk of developing cataracts. Additionally, genetics and family history can play a part.

How Are Cataracts Treated?

The AAO states that the only way to remove cataracts is by surgery. During the procedure, the cloudy lens is gently removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). This lens is designed to improve vision by allowing light to properly focus on the retina. Cataract surgery is typically a quick and safe outpatient procedure; advancements in technology have made it even more precise and efficient.

Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva
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Regular Eye Exams Are Crucial

Regular eye exams are essential for maintaining healthy vision and preventing cataracts. These exams allow doctors to detect cataracts at an early stage, often before symptoms are noticeable.  Also, routine eye exams help identify other eye conditions or health issues that may contribute to cataracts.

The professional staff at Abilene Eye Institute Cataract and Lasik Surgery Center stands ready to answer all your questions concerning cataracts. Find out how effective treatment and surgery can be. You don't have to live life with blurry vision. Make the first step by getting checked out today. Call 325-695-2020 or visit abileneeyeinstitute.com.

Your sight is one of the most precious things you have. Take in the beauty of Texas with an eyeful of these breathtaking waterfalls. Just look below.

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Did you know that Texas has quite a few waterfalls? Yep, we have more than just oil, horses, cows, and cactus.

Gallery Credit: Chaz

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