The benefits of cataract surgery are being highlighted in the US this month, with the American Academy of Ophthalmology promoting the procedure through Cataract Awareness Month.
A cataract is a clouding of the clear lens in the eye, causing blurred, fuzzy vision and occasionally leading to eventual blindness.
However, cataract surgery can be performed to a high degree of effectiveness, with modern technology enabling faster, more comfortable operations.
Over 95 per cent of cataract surgeries are successful, resulting in a definite improvement in vision and significantly improving patients' life quality.
"Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world," revealed Dr Edward Holland, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati and director of cornea services at the Cincinnati Eye Institute.
"However, in the vast majority of cases, vision loss is reversible. New cataract surgery techniques have made cataract surgery one of the most successful procedures available in restoring patients' quality of life."
Nearly 50 per cent of people develop cataracts by the time they are 65, largely due to aging, but also as a result of several other contributing factors, such as long-term exposure to sunlight.
"The most important thing you can do is to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light," said Dr Holland.
"When you are outside in daylight, wear wraparound sunglasses that block 100 per cent of UVA and UVB and wear a wide-brimmed hat."