Cataracts, Aging Eyes & Vision
As you age, it is important to learn about cataracts because they are the leading cause of vision loss among people over 55, or seniors. In the United States, the incidence of age related cataract is approximately 42% in those aged 52 to 64, 60% in those aged 65 to 74 and 91% in those aged 75 to 85. In order for you to have clear vision light must be able to pass through the optical structures of your eyes and focus properly on the retina.
The two structures responsible for refracting, or bending light are the cornea, which is the outermost clear curved “lens” that is visible when looking at your eye from a side view and the crystalline lens, which is located behind the colored part of the eye-the iris. Both the cornea and the crystalline lens need to be perfectly clear in order for you to have good vision. If you are in good health and have not had chronic eye infections, inflammation or had any trauma to your eyes, the cornea is likely to maintain its clarity throughout your life unlike the crystalline lens which undergoes a number of changes that progress as we age. These aging changes can affect your vision. Even if you have had “good eyes” and “normal vision” all your life, your vision is likely to begin to change in a number of ways as you progress from your 40’s, to your 50’s and then your 60’s and beyond.
The two most common changes that occur in the crystalline lens are: