What is the Main Cause of a Cataract?
Many eye diseases not only progress with age, but age is often the root cause behind the onset of serious eye conditions, including cataracts. The main cause of a cataract is due to age with 90% of people developing a cataract by age 65. Other cataract risk factors that may speed up cataract development include lifestyle (smoking, alcohol consumption and use of corticosteroids), overexposure (to sunlight, UV rays and X-rays), nutritional deficiencies (low levels of antioxidants as well as Vitamin C, Vitamin E and carotenoids), eye trauma (eye-related injuries or burns) and diseases (glaucoma, diabetes, hypothyroidism or an autoimmune disorder).
A cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. This lens, located behind the iris and pupil that produces images on to the retina, is made up of protein that when clumped together creates a cloudy spot on the lens of the eye. This results in blurred and discolored vision. Most cataracts develop slowly over time with signs and symptoms including sensitivity to bright light, glares or halos around lights, double vision, difficulty seeing at night and the need to change the prescription for contact lenses frequently.
Treatment options for cataracts begin with a new prescription for glasses or contacts. If cataract symptoms, such as inability to drive, read, or carry out normal activities, persist beyond a fix of a new prescription, surgery will be recommended. During cataract surgery, the surgeon removes the clouded lens and a clear artificial lens is usually implanted. Cataract surgery is a very common, safe procedure.
Developing cataracts comes with aging, but there are 3 significant ways to help protect your eye health and slow the progression. If you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. Wear sunglasses and do your best to shield your eyes from direct sunlight. Most importantly, schedule routine eye exams with your doctor. Only your eye doctor can offer a series of tests to check for cataract development and other eye diseases.
Providing safe and effective treatment options is a top priority at Kalamazoo Ophthalmology. If you are looking for relief from cataract symptoms or have other questions and concerns, contact our office today by calling 269-329-5860 or visiting online at WEBSITE.