The eyes are said to be the windows to the soul but are those "windows" as clean and clear as they should be? May is healthy vision month and ophthalmologists everywhere are encouraging regular checkups to help ensure you're seeing the clearest picture of the world around you.
As you can clearly see, Gloria Thompson wears glasses. So you can image her surprise when her vision started to blur despite the spectacles.
"I noticed that it was kind of hard to pick up my grandchildren's faces at school group activities where there was a whole crowd." said Thompson.
The computer screen also became blurry, making it hard for Gloria to even do her job. A visit to the ophthalmologist revealed Gloria's eyes had developed cataracts , so she was referred to Dr. Jessica Claussen at Avera Queen of Peace.
"What happens with cataracts is the natural lens of the eye becomes clouded over time. It's a natural aging process for the lens and as that happens instead of looking through a nice clear glass it's like looking through a fogged or clouded glass." said Dr. Claussen.
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness around the world but fortunately it's also a very treatable condition.
"We remove the natural lens of the eye at least most of it and that we implant an artificial lens into its place." said Dr. Claussen.
Even though it's a quick procedure, surgery is no small thing so Dr. Claussen made sure Gloria wasn't overwhelmed and helped guide her from surgery to recovery.
"I had surgery at 2:30pm and was home again by 4:30pm and because I could come to Dr. Claussen for follow-up visits it was very convenient and very, very easy to recover." said Thompson.
Meaning it didn't take long for Gloria's world to shift back into focus.
"Ii immediately noticed a difference with the (projector) screen at church I could read that, I could read the computer easier and I was comfortable driving again at night." said Thompson.
Whether it's glaucoma, cataracts, or just old age; eye problems can pop up at any time. But for people over 60 it's recommended they get in every year for a comprehensive dilated exam to make sure their eyes are as healthy as they can be.
"Just really make your vision as much a priority to our health as we do the other parts of our health." said Dr. Claussen.
Cataracts can pop up without affecting vision which is why yearly tests are so important in catching them early. Smokers and people with diabetes are also at a higher risk of developing cataracts later in life. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.