Although cataracts are the most serious cause of vision impairment worldwide, many myths still persist about their causes and treatments. CataractsNearly 22 million Americans aged 40 years and older are affected. According to the National Eye Institute (Neil Institute), more than half of Americans will develop cataracts by age 80.

“Cataracts are not preventable, but they are treatable,”Richard P. Mills MD “and the best way to ensure vision stays healthy for a lifetime is to schedule a visit with an ophthalmologist. More than 90 percent of the people who have cataract surgery regain useful vision.”

As the lens of the eye, which is located behind the pupil grows older, the cells in it die and begin to accumulate. Blurred vision is the result. “fuzzy”images Eye injuries, certain medications, as well as diseases such diabetes, can all cause cataracts. In the initial stages of cataracts, you can reduce vision problems by wearing eyeglasses and stronger lighting. At some point, however, it may be necessary to undergo cataract surgery. This is the most common operation in the country. These are the most common myths surrounding cataract surgery.

* MYTH 1: Eye drops can prevent or dissolve cataracts.

o FACT: Drops that treat or delay cataracts have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The drops cannot dissolve cataracts because they are not substances.

* MYTH 2: Close-up tasks like reading or sewing make cataracts worse.

o FACT – Cataracts do not occur because of how people use their vision. Close work can make cataracts more obvious. One sign that you have a cataract is the need to see more light in order to perform the same activities.

* MYTH 3: Cataracts are reversible.

o FACT – The lens naturally cloudies as it ages. This process is irreversible and unavoidable. However, you can slow down the progression of the lens by quitting smoking, eating a balanced meal and wearing sunglasses.

You may be eligible for free eye exams if you are 65 years old or older. EyeCare America provides free eye exams. This program works with more than 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists throughout the U.S.A and Puerto Rico. Visit www.eyecareamerica.orgTo find out if you, or a loved one, are eligible for this care.