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What Causes Cataracts and How to Prevent Them

19 Apr, 2023

Blog author iconObaidullah Junaid
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Cataracts are a prevalent eye ailment affecting millions of individuals throughout the world. They arise when the lens of the eye gets clouded, resulting in visual loss. The illness can develop at any age, although it is more common in elderly people. Cataracts are a progressive disorder, which means that if left untreated, they will deteriorate over time. If you detect changes in your vision or other signs of cataracts, such as increased glare, difficulties seeing at night, or impaired colour perception, get medical assistance immediately. It's also worth noting that cataracts aren't the only source of vision loss; other eye disorders can also impair people's eyesight. As a result, frequent eye exams are crucial, as is seeking medical assistance if you detect any changes in your vision or eye health.In this article, we will look at the causes of cataracts and how to avoid them.

Causes of Cataracts:

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The specific aetiology of cataracts is unknown, however various variables are thought to influence their development. The following are some of the most prevalent causes of cataracts:

  1. Ageing: Ageing is one of the most prevalent causes of cataracts. As we age, the proteins in our lenses degrade, resulting in cloudiness and impaired vision.
  2. Genetics: Genetics is another cause of cataracts. Some people are predisposed to cataracts from birth, making them more prone to acquire the ailment.
  3. Diabetes: People who have diabetes are more likely to acquire cataracts. High blood sugar levels can inflate the lens, causing cloudiness and visual loss.
  4. Tobacco use: Tobacco use is a substantial risk factor for cataracts. Tobacco smoke contains toxic compounds that can damage the lens, causing cloudiness and vision loss.
  5. UV Radiation: Prolonged UV radiation exposure can potentially induce cataracts. UV radiation can cause cloudiness and vision loss in the lens over time.
  6. Trauma: Cataracts can also be caused by ocular trauma. A hit to the eye can cause lens damage, resulting in cloudiness and visual loss.
  7. Drugs: Some drugs, like steroids, have been linked to cataract formation. Long-term usage of these drugs may cause cloudiness and visual loss.

Preventing Cataracts:

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While certain cataract risk factors, like heredity and age, cannot be avoided, there are actions you may take to lower your chances of acquiring cataracts. Here are some methods for preventing cataracts:

  1. Wear Sunglasses: Wearing sunglasses that block UV radiation can help protect your eyes from cataracts. Look for sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
  2. Eat a Healthy Diet: Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Studies have shown that diets rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, can help protect the lens from damage.
  3. Quit Smoking: If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, including your eye health. Quitting smoking can help reduce your risk of developing cataracts.
  4. Manage Diabetes: If you have diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels can help reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Keeping your blood sugar levels under control can help prevent the lens from swelling and becoming cloudy.
  5. Protect Your Eyes: Protecting your eyes from trauma is essential in preventing cataracts. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities that could lead to eye injury.
  6. Get Regular Eye Exams: Having frequent eye examinations is critical for spotting cataracts early. Early identification and treatment can aid in the prevention of visual loss.
  7. Limit Medication Use: If you are taking medications that can cause cataracts, talk to your doctor about alternatives or ways to limit your use of these medications.

Treatment Options:

There are various therapy options available if you have been diagnosed with cataracts.Cataract surgery is the most often used type of treatment. The clouded lens is removed and replaced with a prosthetic lens during cataract surgery. The operation is normally performed as an outpatient procedure and is both safe and effective. After cataract surgery, most patients notice a considerable improvement in their eyesight.

Individuals with early-stage cataracts might potentially benefit from non-surgical therapy alternatives. These are some examples:

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  1. Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses: In some cases, eyeglasses or contact lenses can help improve vision for individuals with early-stage cataracts.
  2. Brighter Lighting: Increasing the lighting in your home or workspace can help improve vision for individuals with early-stage cataracts.
  3. Magnifying Glasses: Using magnifying glasses or other visual aids can help improve vision for individuals with early-stage cataracts.

Conclusion:

Cataracts are a common eye condition that can lead to vision loss if left untreated. While some risk factors for cataracts, such as genetics and ageing, cannot be prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing cataracts. These include wearing sunglasses, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, managing diabetes, protecting your eyes, getting regular eye exams, and limiting medication use.

If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, there are several treatment options available, including surgery and non-surgical options such as eyeglasses, contact lenses, brighter lighting, and visual aids. It is essential to take care of your eye health to maintain good vision and prevent vision loss. If you are experiencing any changes in your vision or have concerns about your eye health, be sure to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.

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FAQs

Cataracts can cause significant vision loss, but they typically do not lead to complete blindness. However, untreated cataracts can lead to other eye problems that can result in blindness, so it's important to get regular eye exams and seek treatment if you notice any changes in your vision.