August is National Cataract Awareness Month and Home Helpers is spreading awareness. Cataracts currently affect more than 22 million Americans, and are the leading cause of vision loss in people age 55 and older. It is estimated that more than half of people age 65 and older have some degree of cataract development, and more than half of people age 80 and older either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
A cataract forms when the eye's lens becomes clouded with an opaque film, thereby blocking or changing the passage of light into the eye. This can cause blurred and distorted vision, especially on bright, sunny days or while driving at night. Other symptoms of cataracts include: colors that appear faded; glares; difficulty seeing at night and double vision. To the right is an example of how a person with normal vision (top) and cataracts (bottom) might see the Home Helpers logo.
Adjusting your eyes to sudden changes in lighting may take longer (e.g., inside to outside, from a brightly lit hallway into a dark theatre).
It may take longer for eyes to adjust and focus when quickly switching from looking at things that are close (e.g., dashboard gauges on your car) and things that are farther away (e.g., road signs).
Glare makes it increasingly challenging to see (e.g., text on glossy paper, headlights from on-coming cars).
Detail and contrast is less pronounced due to a gradual thickening and yellowing of the lens of the eye (e.g., lines are not as sharp, harder to distinguish between similar colors).
The risk of eye disease increases (e.g., cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration).
Week 5 Tip: Let Your Eyes Adjust - Give your eyes time to adjust to noticeable changes in lighting. For example, when you walk into a dark room (a theater or etc), stop for a minute or two until you are able to see more clearly. Doing so may help you avoid tripping, falling or bumping into something or someone else.
Week 4 Tip: Keep Glasses Handy - Keep reading glasses handy and consider purchasing a magnifying glass/lens to help ensure you can accurately read labels and instructions (ex. medicine bottles).
Week 3 Tip: Keep a Flashlight in Your Pocket - Keeping a small flashlight with you at all times can help you read better when lighting is dim.
Week 2 Tip: Driving at Night - Avoid driving at night, especially in rainy conditions, when the glare from headlights and wet roads can be a problem.
Week 1 Tip: Using a Computer - When using a computer, and there is not a button to adjust test size, try the following to increase the font size: press the Control and + keys. (On a Mac, press Command and +.)
January - National Get Organized Month
February - American Heart Month
March - National Nutrition Month
April - Parkinson's Awareness Month
June - Elder Abuse Awareness Month
July - Senior Independence Month
October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month
November - Alzheimer's Awareness Month
December - Home for the Holidays Month