Eye Center of Texas Blog

Cataracts Can Happen to Anyone, At Any Age

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss for people in their 40s and older, but sometimes cataracts can develop in children or even from birth. Cataracts are cloudy spots on the lens inside the eye. This lens is normally clear, so when it is clouded, it affects vision.

Cataracts can occur in just one eye or in both eyes. Even if they appear in both eyes, one eye can be more affected than the other. Normal, clear lenses will allow light to go through the back of the eye so you can see well-defined images.

When the lens is more opaque, the light does not pass through as easily and vision becomes blurry. The cloudier the lens is, the worse your vision becomes. Most people think this is simply a sign of old age, but the truth is more complex.

Two Types of Cataracts

You might think this ailment develops only in older individuals, and that is true for one of the types of cataracts. The other type is not based on age at all, but rather heredity.

Age-Related Cataracts

This type forms later in life and is the most common form of cataract. As we age, the protein in the lens of our eyes can clump up and cause the cloudy spots that block light.

Congenital

This type of cataract could be present when a baby is born or could form in an older child. This developmental type is hereditary and caused by genes.

While cataracts usually form in people over the age of 40, children can also develop cataracts or even be born with them. Though it is very rare, cataracts can affect anyone, even if they most commonly appear later in life. They cause more vision problems around the world than any other eye condition.

Risk Factors

Everyone is at risk for developing this vision problem at some point in their life. There are a number of things that increase your risk, including:

  • Age
  • Family History
  • Diabetes
  • Long-Term Sunlight Exposure
  • Eye Inflammation Issues
  • Eye Injuries
  • Lead Exposure
  • Certain Drugs
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Previous Eye Surgery
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Myopia

Treatment Options

If you have a mild condition, you can treat the problem in a few different ways. You need to make sure your glasses prescription is as accurate as possible and consider bifocals. You can get brighter lights for your house and wear sunglasses on sunny days.

You can also refrain from driving at night. The ailment will continue to develop and take more of your eyesight, so these options are only temporary. There are several ways to prevent cataracts, including diet and supplements.

The only effective treatment for severe cataracts is surgery. If you are having trouble with your vision due to this problem, schedule a free consultation with Eye Center of Texas today.

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