Unveiling the causes of cataracts: Understanding the triggers

Cataracts, a common vision impairment, affect millions globally, particularly in older adults. While often linked to ageing, various factors can accelerate or contribute to their development. This post aims to unveil the causes of cataracts and help you understand the triggers.

Ageing: The Primary Culprit

The most prevalent cause of cataracts is ageing. As we age, the proteins in our eye’s natural lens can begin to clump together, creating a cloudy area. This process usually starts around the age of 40, with symptoms often appearing later in life. The gradual clouding of the lens leads to the blurred, dim vision characteristic of cataracts.

Genetic Factors: A Familial Connection

Genetics can play a role. If your family has a history of cataracts, you might be more prone to developing them. Understanding your family’s eye health history can help you and your eye doctor anticipate and monitor for signs.

Medical Conditions: Beyond Just the Eyes

Certain medical conditions, particularly diabetes, can increase the risk of cataracts. Diabetics are often prone to developing cataracts at an earlier age due to fluctuations in blood sugar levels affecting the eyes.

Environmental and Lifestyle Factors

Exposure to ultraviolet sunlight, smoking, and poor nutrition are significant environmental and lifestyle triggers. Prolonged UV exposure can damage the proteins in the lens, while smoking introduces harmful toxins that can affect eye health. A diet lacking in antioxidants can also leave the eyes vulnerable.

Medications and Other Factors

Certain medications, particularly corticosteroids, can contribute to cataract development. Additionally, a history of eye injuries or surgeries can increase the risk.

Cataracts are a multifactorial condition influenced by ageing, genetics, health, environment, lifestyle, and more. Understanding these triggers is crucial for prevention and early intervention. Regular eye exams are vital in detecting cataracts early.

Concerned about cataracts or eye health in general? Book a free assessment with us to discuss your eye health and explore potential preventative measures.

Stay proactive about your vision health and keep those windows to the world clear!

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