5 Surprising Facts about Cataracts

A cataract is simply a clouding of the lens of the eye and it can be caused by age, medical conditions, or genetic predisposition. The protein clumps up in your eye, clouding your lens and reducing the light from reaching the retina. There are three different types of cataracts and some of the most common symptoms include cloudy vision, halos or glare around lights, and difficult nighttime vision.

Although cataracts are a relatively common condition, most people know very little about it. Here are five surprising facts you may not know about cataracts:

1. Cataracts don’t just affect the elderly
One of the biggest misconceptions about cataracts is that it is a condition that only affects the elderly. It is true that the majority of the time it affects the elderly but people of all ages can develop cataracts.

2. Cataracts are the biggest cause of vision loss in the world
Cataracts are the most frequent cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40 and the leading cause of blindness worldwide. There are actually more cases of cataracts worldwide than there are of glaucoma.

3. Sun exposure can increase your risk of cataracts
Most people know about the dangers that UV rays pose to their skin but did you know that UV rays can be incredibly harmful to your eyes as well? UV rays speed up the breakdown of protein in the lens, which causes cataracts to form. The best way to prevent this is by wearing a hat and protective eyewear.

4. You can reduce your risk for cataracts
There is no way to completely prevent cataracts from forming but you can reduce your risk by wearing sunglasses, eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, and avoiding tobacco products.

5. Cataracts develop painlessly
One of the reasons why people don’t often realize they have cataracts until they have experienced significant vision damage is because cataracts develop painlessly. Cataracts are not usually painful until they have developed to the point where they cause extreme sensitivity to light.

If you are concerned about cataracts or want information about cataract surgery, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at either our Denver or Centennial locations. We would love to help you improve your vision and reduce the effects of cataracts.