Cataracts: Who is at Risk?Saturday, October 15th, 2016, 5:39 am
A cataract refers to a cloudy area in the lens of your eye that prohibits light from passing to the retina or nerve layer at the back of your eye. Because a cataract interferes with light, it can cause vision problems. You may see glare from lamps or the sun, and it may be difficult to drive at night because of the glare from headlights. The most prevalent symptom is a general fuzziness or fogginess with your eyesight.
There are several things that can put you at greater risk for developing cataracts. They include:
- Aging. Most cataracts affect older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
- Genetics. If cataracts run in your family, you’re more likely to get it. And you’re also at greater risk for the disease if you have certain genetic disorders.
- Chronic diseases. You have diabetes or glaucoma that is not properly managed, your risk of developing cataracts increases.
Other factors that can increase your risk of cataracts include:
- UV exposure. The longer you expose your eyes to UV rays, the more likely you are to develop cataracts later in life. That’s why it’s important to protect your eyes with quality sunglasses that offer UV protection.
- Tobacco. Smoking can contribute to the formation of chemicals called free radicals, which in turn, can damage cells in the lens of the eye.
- Steroids. Using steroid medicines for a long period of time for conditions like emphysema or asthma can put you at greater risk for cataracts.
- Pregnancy and infection. Pregnant women who contract chicken pox or rubella contribute to the likelihood of the fetus developing a cataract while in the womb.
To learn more about your risk for developing cataracts, or to schedule an appointment, please complete our convenient online contact form. For locations, click here to find a center near you.