Cataracts: Who’s at Risk and Why
Cataract is a common age-related eye disorder which makes the lens in your eye cloudy. There is no specific time frame to how soon people can have their vision affected because of cataracts and how fast the condition will progress. Overtime, if left untreated, cataracts will slowly affect vision more and more.
About 90% of all patients with cataracts suffer from senile cataracts, where age-related factors cause the lens to cloud over. However there are other forms of cataracts that we will discuss throughout the blog and also address other risk factors for cataracts.
Types of Cataracts
There are essentially three types of cataracts, besides senile cataracts. They are differentiated based on the anatomical location of the opacity in the lens.
Cortical cataracts usually don’t form before the age of 45. These are special subcategory that is characterized by a transparency changes in the lens cortex, or middle layer.
Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts
Posterior subcapsular cataracts progress much more rapidly compared to other forms of cataracts. Usually observed as a result of steroid use (prescription medication for anti-inflammatory disease) and may be observed in younger individuals.
This is the most common type of age-related cataracts amongst the US aging population. These progress relatively slowly. It can takes decades before someone needs surgery.
Cataracts Risk Factors
There’s a wide range of risk factors that are associated with the development of cataracts. Avoiding certain habits and including certain types of food can significantly reduce the risk of developing the condition to enjoy clear vision for the entirety of your life. These risk factors include:
Smoking has been known to cause many problems throughout the body, but one of the most destructive effects of the habit is increased oxidative stress. Long-term smoking can induce inflammation in the eye, which can cause many ocular conditions which include but are not restricted to cataracts.
Numerous studies have been conducted that highlight high correlations between diabetes and the formation of cataracts. High levels of glucose in the blood can exacerbate the progression of the condition.
Many medications can lead to cataract formation. One classic group of drugs leading to early cataract onset are cortico-steroids.
Anyone with a direct trauma to the eye can develop cataracts , at any age.
No matter the type of cataract you suffer from, once they impact your vision, there is an easy fix. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgery in the US. It is a quick, safe and very efficient surgery where the natural lens of the eye is removed and an artificial lens or implant is used to replace it. Our office works with trustworthy cataract surgeons in the area. We will guide you in the process when the time comes.
At Dr. Gilberg & Associates, we’ve been serving the North Miami area with top quality emergency eye care for the last ten years. We pride ourselves on providing state-of-the-art services and affordable medical treatment including contact lens examinations and digital eye exams to patients for a variety of eye-related problem. Learn more about our services here.