Cataracts are a vision condition that affect the lens of the eyes. Protein in the lens builds up making your vision cloudy and blurry, fading colors, increasing your sensitivity to light, and making it difficult to see at night. This happens gradually over time, sometimes making it difficult for people to notice the changes in their eyesight.
Cataracts are a very common condition in older adults. Half of Americans over 80 years of age either have cataracts or have had cataract removal surgery, according to the National Eye Institute. Thankfully, cataract surgery is safe and can correct vision problems caused by the cloudy lens. There are many cataract causes and risk factors that can increase the chances of a diagnosis. Keep reading to learn more about them and what you can do to minimize the likelihood of developing cataracts.
Causes and risk factors for cataracts (in no particular order) are…
The most common risk factor related to cataracts is advanced age. As you get older, the proteins in the lens of your eye clump together making it difficult to see. According to the National Eye Institute, this is a normal occurrence that begins at around 40-years-old. Every decade after age 40, your chance of developing cataracts increases, with approximately 24-million Americans diagnosed each year.
Once you reach 60-years-old, it is recommended to get a dilated eye exam every 2-years. These exams are simple and painless and will detect cataracts and other eye problems.