Causes of Cataracts

Macular Degeneration Overview

Cataracts are a common condition that occurs when the lens in the eye becomes cloudy, causing vision problems. While aging is the most common cause of cataracts, there are several other factors that can contribute to their development. Understanding what causes cataracts is important for prevention and early detection.

One of the main causes of cataracts is aging. As we get older, the proteins in the lens of the eye can clump together, causing the lens to become cloudy. This cloudiness can gradually worsen over time, leading to vision problems such as blurriness, double vision, and sensitivity to light.

Other factors that can contribute to the development of cataracts include:

  • UV radiation exposure: Prolonged exposure to UV radiation from the sun can damage the lens of the eye and increase the risk of cataracts.
  • Smoking: Studies have shown that smokers are more likely to develop cataracts than non-smokers.
  • Certain medical conditions: Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity have been linked to an increased risk of developing cataracts.
  • Certain medications: Long-term use of certain medications, such as steroids, can increase the risk of cataracts.
  • Eye injuries: Eye injuries, such as a blow to the eye, can increase the risk of developing cataracts.

It is important to have regular eye exams to monitor for the development of cataracts and other vision problems. If you are experiencing symptoms of cataracts, it is important to see an eye doctor for a complete evaluation and to discuss treatment options, including cataract surgery.