Cataract Risk Factors and Causes

Cataracts are extremely common in aging adults. This condition is characterized by cloudy or blurry vision. Fortunately, cataracts can be successfully treated with corrective eyewear or cataract surgery.

Here, our Philadelphia, PA ophthalmology team discusses cataract risk factors as well as common causes and treatment options.

What Causes Cataracts?

The lens of the eye is primarily made of water and protein. In healthy children and adults, the protein composition allows light to pass through the lens, keeping it clear. However, as we age, the protein may cluster or clump together. As a result, cloudiness may develop. This is referred to as a cataract, and over time, it can progress and grow larger.

Cataract Risk Factors

It is possible that cataracts are just a result of normal wear and tear. However, most experts agree that there are some risk factors that can increase your chances of developing the condition:

Additionally, cataracts have also been linked to:

Cataract Prevention

While it is impossible to prevent the development of cataracts, there are certain things you can do to reduce your risk for the condition. For example:

Treatment for Cataracts

At Ophthalmology Physicians and Surgeons, PC, we strive to provide the most conservative treatments available. If you have cataracts, the first line of defense is often corrective eyewear.

A series of tests can be performed at our office to determine the severity and complexity of the condition. Assessments may include visual acuity tests, slit-lamp exams, and retinal evaluations. By performing a complete examination, your doctor can determine if eyeglasses or contacts can improve your vision.

In some cases, cataracts are too severe to be treated with corrective eyewear. In these cases, surgery will be recommended. This generally becomes an option once your cloudy vision begins to affect your quality of life. If you have difficulty driving at night or reading due to your cataracts, it may be time to consider surgical intervention.

Francis Clark, MD

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