Has your vision been a little blurry lately? If so, the problem might be a cataract.
Of course, you’ve probably heard the word “cataract” many times before. But what exactly does it mean?
When the proteins that form your eye’s lens start to break down and stick together, cloudy areas called cataracts can form.
Cataracts can be scary, and if left untreated, they can lead to permanent blindness.
Fortunately, routine eye exams, cataract removal surgeries, and lens replacement operations can all save and protect your eyesight.
At this point, though, you might be wondering: Who is most likely to suffer from this problem?
To answer that question, let’s look at some of the major cataract risk factors.
A person’s age is the primary contributing factor to cataracts. In fact, the proteins of the lens start to break down around the age of 40. And symptoms of cataracts typically start to appear after a person turns 60.
Women run a somewhat higher risk of cataracts than men, especially earlier in life. It’s not precisely clear why, but it may be connected to the hormonal changes that women can experience, particularly during pregnancy and menopause.
When people have diabetes, their higher blood sugar levels can damage their ocular blood vessels, making them more vulnerable to cataracts. On top of that, the extra blood sugar can cause structural changes within the lens itself. And those changes can lead to cataracts.
Smoking and Drinking
Cigarette smoke can irritate the eyes and swell their blood vessels, which can induce cataract formation.
Moreover, medical studies have linked ongoing heavy alcohol consumption to cataracts. Heavy drinking is often defined as eight or more drinks in one week for a woman and 15 or more drinks in one week for a man. However, the connection between alcohol and cataracts still needs further study.
In some cases, cataracts can run in families. A parent might pass on the genetic mutation that causes cataracts to their child.
Other Eye Problems
Those who’ve experienced eye-related traumas, disorders, or injuries are often more susceptible to cataracts. All of these issues can alter the structure of the lens and its proteins.
Schedule A Consultation
Whether or not you’re experiencing cataract symptoms, regular check-ups are vital to the health and functioning of your eyes. The earlier a cataract or other problem is detected, the better the outcomes are likely to be. That’s where we come in. At Campus Eye Group. our experienced team of specialists can help you maintain your eye health. Simply call our office today at (609) 587-2020, or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.