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The Causes of Cataracts and Some Common Risk Factors

By David Gross on June 30, 2015


An older couple taking a selfieThe team at Deen-Gross Eye Centers have served patients in and around Merrillville by providing excellent treatments as well as tips for prevention and good at-home eye care. Prevenative tips and surgery are important when addressing cataracts, a common issue for many patients, particularly older patients. Let's consider the causes of cataracts, some risk factors for developing cataracts, and what patients can do to prevent cataracts from forming.

About Cataracts

Cataracts refer to the clouding of the naturally clear lens of the eye. When this occurs, the lens becomes milky and noticeably white, affecting the look of your eyes as well as the quality and clarity of your vision.

There are many different causes of cataracts, including injuries to the eye and radiation exposure. The common risk factors below will help you understand how general wellness is linked to the health of your eyes.

Cataract Risk Factor #1 – Advanced Age

When people become older, their likelihood of developing cataracts increases. This is often the result of slow and long-term damage done to the eyes over time and the natural effects of the aging process.

Cataract Risk Factor #2 – Prolonged Sun Exposure

By far one of the most common contributing causes of cataracts is exposure to the sun. The UV rays will do damage to your eyes over a long period of time, resulting the formation of cataracts after time has passed.

Cataract Risk Factor #3 – Previous Eye Injury or Injuries

If you have suffered an eye injury in the past, that can increase the chances of cataracts forming. This is particularly true of serious blows to the eye area or damage done to the eye itself.

Cataract Risk Factor #4 – Family History of Cataracts

Genetics is another important risk factor to consider given how certain conditions can run in families. If many other older relatives have developed cataracts later in life, you're more likely to develop cataracts as a result of the aging process.

Cataract Risk Factor #5 – Smoking and Alcoholic Beverages

Using tobacco products and drinking alcoholic beverages can lead to a whole host of serious health issues. Among them is increased risk of developing cataracts. This is just another reason why you should avoid using tobacco products and drink responsibly and in moderation.

Cataract Risk Factor #6 – Obesity and Diabetes

Research has shown that obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other health conditions related to excessive body fat and poor general health will increase your risk of developing cataracts.

Tips for Preventing Cataracts

In order to prevent the formation of cataracts and the need for cataract surgery. consider these helpful tips:

  • Wear sunglasses and/or a hat with a brim while outdoors
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits
  • Exercise regularly
  • Wear eye protection during applicable activities
  • Refrain from using tobacco products
  • Drink in moderation only
  • Undergo eye exams regularly
  • Visit your doctor for annual physicals

Learn More About Treating Cataracts

For more information about cataracts and your many options available for effective treatment, be sure to contact our eye care and vision correction centers today. The entire team here at Deen-Gross Eye Centers looks forward to meeting you in person and going over these matters in greater detail.

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