What causes cataracts?

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in many countries around the world. The condition is more common among older people, especially those over the age of 60. Sensitivity to light and glare, and blurry vision are just a few of the symptoms related to this eye disease. But why are cataracts so common, and what are some of the causes of cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. The job of the lens is to focus light and images on the retina, which lies at the back of the eye. Since the lens is transparent, those images are normally quite sharp and clear. However, if the lens becomes cloudy this prevents clear vision; therefore the image the retina receives will be blurred and not sharp.

What causes cataracts?
Aging is perhaps the single most common cause of cataracts. As we get older, the structure of the proteins in the eye often changes. When this occurs, the lens proteins that are usually in a dissolved state may suddenly clump together, and this causes the lens to cloud over.  These cloudy spots are known as cataracts.

Eye trauma can also lead to the formation of cataracts. This is usually the result of an injury that penetrates the eye. This type of blunt trauma typically affects the lens fibers causing them to swell, thicken, and become white in color.

There are genetic components that can contribute to the development of cataracts. Infants can have clouding of the lens at birth, a condition known as congenital cataract. In addition, some children develop the eye disorder during childhood, due to the presence of a particular syndrome.

Cataracts may also be caused by diseases such as diabetes, extended steroid use, radiation exposure, or too much sunlight. If you need more information about contracts, you can contact New view Eye Clinic in Reston,VA.


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