What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in men and women around the world, and it is also responsible for many cases of vision impairment. But what causes cataracts, and how is it normally treated.

What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. The condition hinders light rays from objects being viewed from passing through the lens, and focusing on the retina located at the back of the eyes.

What causes cataracts?
Changes to the tissue in the eye’s lens which is often the result of aging, is considered the single most important cause of cataracts. This explains why cataracts are common in people over the age of 60. Age related cataracts occur, because the protein fibers that make up the lens of the eye tend to clump together as you get older. This may cause small or large areas of cloudiness on the lens.

Cataracts may also be due to inherited genetic disorders or injury. In rare cases, babies may be born with cataracts. There are also certain risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, excessive drinking, and prolonged steroid use, which can make someone more likely to develop cataracts.

Cataracts are normally treated by removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. After surgery patients are able to resume normal activities, as their eyesight is restored.

However, cataracts don’t always have to be removed. In cases where vision is not blurred and other symptoms do not affect everyday activities such as reading or driving, cataracts can be treated with new prescription eyeglasses.

If you are interested in learning more about the causes of cataracts, contact Dr. Renee Bovelle at Envision Eye and Laser Center, Bowie, Maryland. Call (301) 805-4664 today to schedule your appointment.

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