Risk Factors for Cataracts: What Makes Them More Likely
By Walter Choate on January 02, 2015
Here at Choate Eye Associates, we have helped patients in and around the Nashville area deal with a diverse array of vision problems and eye health issues. This includes everything from traditional refractive errors to cataracts. Cataracts are the clouding of the lenses of the eyes that leads to a blurring of the vision and potential vision loss over time. There are many different causes of cataracts to consider. Right now, we'd like to focus on the most common risk factors of cataracts and, when possible, offer a few tips on cataract prevention.
Cataracts Are More Likely for People of Advanced Age
The gradual wear and tear experienced by the body and the eyes over time will increase the chances of developing cataracts. This doesn't necessarily mean that you will have cataracts when you are old, but that cataracts are common in patients who are of an advanced age.
Family History Plays a Part in the Likelihood of Cataracts
Cataracts can run in families. If you have relatives who developed cataracts, it's a good chance that you might develop cataracts in the future.
Excessive Sun Exposure Remains a Key Cataract Risk Factor
One of the most common causes of cataracts is the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. These harmful UV rays do damage to your eyes as well as your skin over time. This helps explain why patients who are older are more prone to experiencing cataracts.
To address these matters, it's a good idea to wear sunglasses when you are outdoors. A hat with a brim can also help shade your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun.
Eye Injuries Can Make Cataracts More Likely
Injury to the lens of the eye can lead to a cataract. If you experience an eye injury of some kind--even one that does not necessarily affect the lens per se--your chances of developing cataracts go up. This is why it's a smart idea to wear protective goggles or eyewear if you are playing sports, work in a metal shop or wood shop, or have a job that involves dangerous chemicals and solvents.
Smokers May Be More Likely to Develop Cataracts Over Time
Research has found a link between smoking and cataracts. You already know that smoking is bad for your lungs, so the fact that they can contribute to cataracts over time is just another compelling reason to consider quitting. Your general practitioner can help you quit if you're having difficulty doing so on your own.
The Obese and Diabetics Run a Greater Risk of Developing Cataracts
People who are obese or who suffer from diabetes are more prone to a number of different eye conditions, including cataracts. It's been suggested that hypertension (high blood pressure) is what contributes to the increased chance of developing cataracts.
Given this, it's a good idea to eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. It's also important to exercise regularly in order to maintain a healthy weight.
Schedule a Consultation at Choate Eye Associates
For more information about cataracts and how they can be prevented and treated, we encourage you to contact our eye care and vision correction specialists today. At Choate Eye Associates, we will help you achieve better vision and improved eye health in the process.
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“I am very pleased with the attention I received at Choate Eye Associates. Dr. Choate is very thorough and does a wonderful job of explaining what he is doing and what he is looking for in the exam.” Dianal - Comprehensive Eye Care Patient