Shedding Light on Cataracts: Promoting Awareness in June 2023


As we enter June, a month dedicated to raising awareness about cataracts, it’s crucial to shine a spotlight on this prevalent eye condition that significantly impacts the lives of numerous older Australians.

Let’s break down the basics.

DID YOU KNOW? It’s astonishing to realize that cataracts are a leading cause of blindness globally, underscoring the importance of comprehending the associated risks and symptoms to safeguard our vision.

Cataracts & Vision Health Awareness Begins with Clear Understanding

Previously, we dedicated our focus to Macular Awareness Month (May), delving into the importance of vision health concerning the back of the eye. If you missed this blog earlier, you can find it here. Now, let’s shift our attention to the front of the eye and explore the crucial role of the corneal lens, specifically concerning cataracts. This discussion aims to provide valuable insights for Australian households generally but to support how you can help aging family members dealing with vision issues.

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts occur when the eye’s corneal lens becomes cloudy, impairing its ability to focus light onto the retina. With age comes the likelihood for the proteins in the lens to clump together, causing a loss of transparency. As a result, vision becomes blurred or distorted. These immediate vision issues stem from the obstruction of light passing through the front lens of the eye, causing vision experiences such as:

  • Difficulty seeing details at night.
  • Increased sensitivity to light.
  • Visual aura (such as seeing halos around lights).

Numerous clients, customers, and even individuals close to you, such as friends or family members experiencing the onset of cataracts, may often compare their visual experience to peering through a layer of cling wrap, a frosted window, or a pair of foggy glasses. These vivid depictions indeed capture the essence of their condition!

Regrettably, addressing the issue is not as straightforward as acquiring a more powerful set of eyeglasses or brightening up the surroundings by turning on all the lights in the lounge room. Cataracts snatch away one’s vision, making them formidable thieves of sight.

The Unfortunate Link Between Our Precious Australian Outdoor Lifestyle & Cataracts

According to a recent web article by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), ultraviolet radiation (UV) significantly impacts eye health. While UV helps the body produce vitamin D, it is estimated that globally, UV exposure could contribute to 20% of cataract cases. In Australia, approximately 1.7% of cataracts are attributed to UV radiation. The article and associated statistics are available here*.

This finding means that, on average, around 411,000 Australians experience vision loss due to cataracts each year. The link between our outdoor lifestyle, UV exposure, and eye health is evident. By taking care of our eyes throughout our lives–whilst still enjoying a beautiful part of the world–we can reduce the prevalence of cataracts for ourselves and our loved ones.

What if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned earlier? It’s crucial to take action now. Firstly, book an eye test with your trusted optometrist. The great news is that cataracts are treatable through surgery. This procedure is safe and highly effective, boasting a remarkable success rate. By visiting a trained optometrist, cataracts can be detected early, allowing for timely treatment, support, and ongoing care for your vision needs.

At Island Optical, we provide a welcoming environment for independent optometrists who perform comprehensive eye exams and cataract evaluations. Priority #1 is to ensure that our clients receive top-notch care. We have two conveniently located practices across Tasmania: Launceston and Hobart, offering bulk bill eye testing services through Medicare. This means that you can conveniently access our services without any out-of-pocket expenses, making quality eye care accessible to all.

Don’t wait any longer—take a step towards better vision today by reaching out to your optometrist and consider visiting one of our Island Optical locations. Your eyesight deserves the best care, and we’re here to support your vision every step of the way.

During June, why not act on this call to action during CATARACT AWARENESS MONTH?

You can book a bulk-billed eye test online or contact your closest branch of Island Optical.



HOBART (03) 6231 3640

LAUNCESTON (03) 6331 1008