Cataracts: Understanding the Causes and Risk Factors

Cataract Risk Factors and Causes - London

Feb 2, 2016 @ 12:36 PM — by csbailey
Tagged with: Cataracts |

An older couple outdoorsMr. Steven Bailey is a leading eye care specialist serving those located in the greater London area. Offering state-of-the-art eye care, Mr Bailey is able to improve vision and restore vision quality.

Many people suffer from cataracts later in life. We'd like to take this opportunity to consider the causes, risk factors, and treatment options for cataracts.

What Are Cataracts?

A cataract refers to the clouding of the naturally clear lens of the eye. It is one of the leading causes of vision loss in the world.

When a person develops a cataract, the lens of the eye becomes milkier in color, affecting the appearance of the pupil. As cataracts progress, the lens may be totally opaque, resulting in poor vision and overall vision loss. Cataracts are common, and thankfully eye care specialists are able to treat them with relative ease.

Common Causes of Cataracts

Some of the most common causes of cataracts are as follows:

  • The Natural Aging Process – Cataracts are often a part of the aging process given the wear and tear that the eyes and the body undergo over a long period of time. That's why cataracts often occur in people of advanced age.

  • Long-Term Exposure to UV Radiation – The sun can do major damage to the eyes as well as your skin. Years of ultraviolet radiation can contribute to the formation of cataracts.

  • Injury or Trauma to the Eye – When a person suffers an eye injury or trauma to the eyes, this can damage the lens, which can result in a cataract forming. Certain eye injuries can make cataracts more likely later in life as well.

  • Use of Certain Medications – Certain kinds of medications, particularly corticosteroids, have been shown to increase cataract risk later in life. Be sure to note any side effects of the drugs you are taking.

It is also possible to suffer from congenital cataracts, which are present at birth. These sorts of cataracts are very rare, however.

Risk Factors for Cataracts

There are certain behaviours that could make cataracts more likely for certain people. Some risk factors of which to be aware include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Radiation exposure
  • High blood pressure

Tips for Preventing Cataracts

In order to prevent the formation of cataracts, it's important to consider the following helpful tips:

  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection when outdoors
  • Wear a hat with a brim to shade the eyes from the sun
  • Avoid smoking and tobacco products in general
  • Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet for total wellness
  • Wear eye, face, and head protection when engaged in sport or other activities in which eye injury may occur

Treatments for Cataracts

As noted above, treatment for cataracts is relatively straightforward. For minor cataracts that do not impact the vision severely, corrective lenses can help sharpen vision. For more advanced cataracts, a routine removal surgery can be performed, helping restore vision. Corrective lenses or intraocular lenses may be placed in order to ensure proper vision following the removal of the clouded lens of the eye.

We will be more than happy to discuss your treatment options in greater detail during the consultation process.

Schedule a Consultation to Address Cataracts

To learn more about cataracts and how they can be prevented and treated, we encourage you to contact our advanced eye care and vision correction centre today. Mr. Steven Bailey and the entire team at the practice looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters in greater detail.