Cataracts are an eye condition where the lens of your eye becomes cloudy, leading to blurry vision. Without treatment, it can cause complete vision loss. The good news is that cataracts are treatable, and vision can usually be restored with a cataract procedure.
While cataracts can develop in anyone, older adults are more likely to develop them due to natural changes in the eye as we age. In this blog, we will unpack the leading causes and risk factors associated with cataracts, so you can understand the steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing them.
The most common cause is aging. As you age, the proteins in the eye’s natural lens break down or clump together, creating a cloudy area. This cloudiness gradually increases, making it difficult to see.
Smoking has been linked as a significant cause of many health conditions. Smoking exposes your eyes to toxins that can damage the lens over time, leading to the formation of cataracts.
By quitting this unhealthy habit, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing cataracts due to smoking, improving your overall eye health and well-being.
Exposure to UV light can also be a cause of cataracts. Too much UV light is damaging to the eyes and can lead to the formation of cataracts. This is why it’s essential to wear sunglasses with UV protection and protect your eyes when out in the sun. UV light exposure is particularly harmful to those who work outdoors or are continuously exposed to high levels of UV radiation.
High blood pressure can impact the delicate blood vessels in the eyes. The resulting damage can contribute to the development of cataracts.
Managing high blood pressure through medication and lifestyle changes is recommended for both your general health and eye health.
Another significant cause of cataracts is diabetes. Cataracts are more common in those who have been living with diabetes for a long time because the condition causes damage to the eye’s lens.
Proper management of diabetes can drastically improve your health while lowering the risk of forming cataracts.
If you do develop cataracts, there is a proven solution. Cataract surgery is one of the safest procedures around. You should contact a trusted ophthalmologist for an evaluation. During this outpatient procedure, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an implant called an intraocular lens (IOL). You can return home the same day. Most cataract patients are thrilled with their new improved vision and resume normal activities within a few days.
If you want more information about cataracts or to schedule an appointment, contact our experts at Key-Whitman Eye Center. Our vision specialists will evaluate your condition and guide you through treatment. (214) 220-3937