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Jun

13

It’s Cataract Awareness Month, and Here’s #MyCataracts Story

Going for a forest walk with his daughter | Latina On a Mission

This post is sponsored by Alcon.

My padrasto/stepfather was a wonderful man. He was also a very independent and strong man. He took pride in the fact that he could provide for his family. As he got older, he started taking a back seat to others. It was subtle. If you didn’t know him, you wouldn’t have guessed he was having difficulty seeing.

The first time I realized how bad his eyesight had gotten was when he asked me to drive. This was huge! I failed my driving exam not once, but three times. I was also a nervous driver and he knew this. So, when he let me get behind the wheel, I knew something was wrong.

It’s Cataract Awareness Month, and Here’s #MyCataracts Story | Migdalia Rivera, Latina Blogger

On the way home, I asked him about his vision. He admitted he was having difficulty seeing but claimed he had a speck of dust in his eyes. Little did he know, more than 24 million people age 40 and older in the U.S. are affected by the same condition he was eventually diagnosed with – cataracts. The condition is normal and extremely common. In Latinos, it’s one of the leading causes of vision impairment! My stepfather was diagnosed in his mid-sixties, an age when more than 90 percent of people will develop cataracts to the point that it starts to impair their vision.

Cataracts can impact day-to-day life.

Cataracts will eventually happen to almost everyone as they age. But, many people may not realize the impact it can have on their emotions and everyday lives. My stepfather was embarrassed. His failing eyesight made him feel weak and old. And what he felt wasn’t unique. In a survey conducted by Alcon of around 1,300 adults age 60 and over who had undergone cataract surgery, respondents reported a range of emotions, with nearly 60 percent saying that cataracts made them feel annoyed, frustrated or old.

Cataracts can be limiting – according to the Alcon survey, nearly two out of three respondents (64%) report cataracts impacted their lives before surgery, noting cataracts made it difficult to work, see colors, drive, and watch TV and movies, among other things. In my stepfather’s case, cataracts limited what he could do as well. He could no longer see colors like he once did, which made it really hard for him to work. He also couldn’t drive. Night driving felt especially dangerous for him.

Before cataract surgery, my stepfather was limited. That doesn’t mean we have to be. Advances in the treatment of cataracts can help us to see the world in all its vivid brightness and colors, so that we can live a full and vibrant life.

Women face a higher risk of developing cataracts than men

For Cataract Awareness Month this June, I wanted to learn and share more information about cataracts to help other people who may be affected by the condition. What may come as a surprise to many (it did to me!), is that women have a higher risk of developing cataracts. Thankfully, there are ways to correct them.

Women face a higher risk of developing cataracts than men. | Latina On a Mission

Cataracts cloud the eye’s naturally clear lens, blocking or changing how light passes through our eyes, resulting in blurry vision. And, the blurred vision gets gradually worse as we age and the condition progresses. But with treatment to remove the cataract and implant a new lens, eyesight can be improved so that you can see clearer!

For people like me who wear glasses and have astigmatism, a 2-in-1 treatment option can fix both the cataracts and astigmatism at the same time, in one surgery. It’s like getting two birds with one stone! And, there is little reason to be scared of having cataract surgery. In fact, almost all of the Alcon survey respondents said they would recommend cataract surgery to someone who has debated whether to get the procedure, or who was scared about getting the procedure.

If our eyes are the windows of the soul, we will remain independent and feisty, for many years to come, by preserving our vision as we age.

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I hope reading #MyCataracts story has inspired you to get in the know about cataracts. Visit MyCataracts.com to learn more about the condition and treatment options, including the latest innovations that can treat cataracts and other vision conditions, such as astigmatism, at the same time. That way, you can have an informed conversation with your eye doctor at your next appointment about whether your vision problems are caused by cataracts, what treatment options may be best for you.

Let’s talk! Do you know anyone with cataracts? How often do YOU check your eyes? Share your #MyCataracts story!

 

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About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

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{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Kim June 14, 2017, 9:05 pm

    I learned something new!!! I did not know that women are at a higher risk for getting cataracts. Plus, I’ve always attributed it to aging. My dad had it and so did my grandma.

  • Midhat Luqman June 20, 2017, 6:30 am

    * very encouraging article
    * I am 82. Since last two to three years my vision is getting impaired. Difficulty working on computer
    * Soon will get cataract removed

  • Anne Gromball June 24, 2017, 6:35 am

    What a great article. It hits right at home since I was recently diagnosed with cataracts. Thank you so much for the encouraging words!

  • Donald Kelley June 25, 2017, 7:09 am

    Ms. Latina, I hope you’re article reaches many people that have cataracts and don’t know it. I had cataracts in both eyes an also wore glasses to correct astigmatism and farsightedness. I spent almost a year with this problem without knowing much about it. My optometrist had just told me that I had a start of a cataract but it was not bad enough to have them removed. Something people don’t know is that there are two types of cataracts, slow growing and fast growing. I had the latter a suffered with bad cataracts within two months of my exam. Since I had them removed and the new lens put in, I do not wear glasses for anything and have better than 20-20 vision in both eyes. Please get your eyes checked immediately and if optometrist tells you you have any sort of cataract, get an appointment with a cataract surgeon and find out how soon you can have them fixed. The agony of cataract vision is dangerous for driving and makes your golf game unpleasant. My Wife is having hers done in July. Please don’t wait because it may be me our someone you care for that you hurt because your lack of good vision.

    • Donald Kelley June 25, 2017, 7:20 am

      The world is a beautiful place since my cataracts were fixed
      It was dangerous for me to drive with cataracts.
      I could play golf without someone telling me where my ball was.
      My vision is 20/15 in both eyes now and cataracts won’t come back.
      Don’t wait to have your cataracts removed, life is to short to miss anything

  • Bonnie J Drouillard June 26, 2017, 6:49 am

    I had cataract surgery on both eyes 2 years ago next month (July).
    I don’t need glasses to drive, only to read because that’s the only one Kaiser would cover. I very happy with the outcome it gave my independence back.
    Please don’t wait, the cataracts aren’t going to go away and the rest of your life is waiting.

  • Elizabeth Cousart June 27, 2017, 4:28 am

    Sacred too have my cataracts removed.

  • karen Angustia June 27, 2017, 2:18 pm

    Migdalia thank you for all this vital information Sometimes people are not aware whats happening to their bodies since they aren’t educated on it. Will share!

  • Janet Ortega June 28, 2017, 4:25 am

    I’m having the surgery on July 5. I will be 70 but I felt I didn’t have any problems seeing but decided to get it done anyway. It will only get worse.

  • Bruno Perri June 29, 2017, 7:24 am

    I will soon be 64 years old, and was told almost 2 years ago by my optometrist that I was developing cataracts. I am nearsighted with significant amout of astigmatism. I was told that I have to let them “ripen” – get worse, before I seek lens implanation surgery. My doctor said I will be a good candidate for surgery within 3 years, but to be patient . I have noticed some dullness in colors, and avoid driVing at night.

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