Knowing the causes of cataracts can help you stay on top of this common eye disease.
Cataracts are one of the most common vision impairments. However, they are very treatable, which is good news for those who suffer from them. Knowing the most common causes will help you be aware of what causes cataracts, when you should get screened, and what you can control.
- The biggest risk factor for developing cataracts is simply getting older. While a cataract is not a life-threatening diagnosis, it is one that can change your life drastically if it is not treated. If you are over 60 and find that your vision is failing or getting duller, chances are you have developed cataracts. Most people have some form of cataracts by the time they are 70. While you cannot prevent age-related issues, you can monitor them by scheduling regular screenings.
- Your genetics can play a part in when you develop cataracts. If members of your family, especially parents and grandparents had cataracts at an early age, (in their 50s or even before) you have a higher risk of developing them early. Knowing about your family history for eye disease can help you be proactive and get treatment earlier rather than later.
- Having diabetes also increases your chance of developing cataracts. If you are pre-diabetic, lifestyle changes can help prevent you from becoming diabetic and avoid the many complications that often accompany it, such as cataracts.
- Steroid use, especially long-term use, can cause early onset of cataracts. If you have a health issue that is being treated by steroids, take the time to talk with your health care provider about alternative treatments.
- Extensive exposure to the sun is a contributing factor to the early development of cataracts, but wearing UV protective sunglasses is the best way to negate the effects of the sun.
- Lifestyle choices like smoking and alcohol use can cause premature development of cataracts. A healthy lifestyle and eating habits can delay the onset of cataracts
If you are over 60, it is a good idea to have a screening, and conduct eye exams at least once every two years. If you have been diagnosed with cataracts or think you may have them, make an appointment with one of our specialists today. Laser cataract surgery may be the perfect solution to give you back the great vision you once enjoyed.