Cataracts occur when proteins in the eye's lens clump together, causing a cloudy lens and vision problems. They can worsen over time and may require surgery. Aging is the primary cause, but other factors can also increase the chances of developing them.
Top Ten Cataracts Causes
So, what are the 10 things that cause Cataracts?
As previously stated, cataracts are most commonly caused by age. As we age, the proteins in our eye lenses can cluster and create a cataract. Aging naturally leads to reduced lens flexibility, making it challenging to focus on nearby objects.
If your parents or grandparents had cataracts, you may also be at risk of developing them. Cataracts can be inherited, and specific genes have been associated with their development. These genes impact the production and maintenance of lens proteins, and mutations in them can cause cataract formation by disrupting the normal structure and function of the lens.
Individuals with diabetes have a greater chance of developing cataracts due to the high levels of blood sugar associated with diabetes. This can alter the eye's lens and make it more prone to cataract formation. Moreover, individuals with diabetes are more prone to developing cataracts at a younger age than those without diabetes. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is crucial in preventing or slowing the development of cataracts. It is also essential to have regular eye check-ups, as they can help identify cataracts at an early stage and facilitate timely treatment.
The proteins in the lens are susceptible to damage due to smoking, and the body's antioxidants that safeguard the lens from harm are diminished. However, the risk of getting cataracts and other eye diseases is considerably reduced by quitting smoking.
5. Sun exposure
Prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays can harm your eye's lens and heighten the possibility of developing cataracts. Wearing sunglasses that shield 100% of UVA and UVB rays is crucial to safeguard your eyes from UV rays. Furthermore, sporting a hat with a brim can help limit the amount of UV radiation that enters the eyes.
Research has revealed a link between obesity and the emergence of cataracts. Overweight or obese individuals are at a greater risk of developing cataracts than those who maintain a healthy weight. While the exact cause of this connection is not fully comprehended, experts believe that obesity-related chronic low-level inflammation may play a role in the development of cataracts. Obesity is often accompanied by other medical issues, such as diabetes, which can raise the risk of cataracts. Therefore, following a well-rounded diet and engaging in regular physical activity can lower the likelihood of developing cataracts.
7. Eye injury
Cataracts can result from blunt or penetrating ocular trauma, chemical burns, electric shock, or exposure to ionizing radiation. It is important to note that a traumatic cataract can develop even long after the initial injury.
8. Alcohol consumption
Long-term alcohol consumption may increase the chance of developing cataracts. Alcohol can cause oxidative stress in the body, damaging the eye's lens and increasing the risk of cataracts. Moreover, alcohol can lead to dehydration, contributing to developing cataracts. It is worth mentioning that moderate alcohol consumption is usually safe. However, excessive alcohol consumption can adversely affect different aspects of health, including eye health.
Certain medications can lead to the development of cataracts in various ways. Some can cause changes in the eye's lens, while others can increase the risk of oxidative stress, which damages cells in the body, including the eye's lens. Medications such as steroids, corticosteroids, and drugs used to treat diabetes or high blood pressure may cause cataracts over time. Certain antibiotics or chemotherapy drugs can also increase the production of free radicals in the body, leading to cataract formation.
10. Poor nutrition
The development of cataracts can be caused by poor nutrition. This is because lacking specific vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C, E, and selenium, can increase the risk of cataracts. Furthermore, a diet high in saturated and trans fats and sugar can also increase the risk of cataracts. To reduce the risk of cataracts and promote overall eye health, consuming a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is advisable.
Your cataracts are in good hands with NY Laser Vision
If you're worried about cataracts or any problems with your vision, NY Laser Vision's team is here to help. Our highly trained and friendly staff sets us apart from the competition, and we're equipped with years of experience and knowledge to guide you through your diagnosis and procedure with ease. We're eager and ready to help ensure a successful outcome for our patients.