Cataracts are a common vision problem that affects more than 24.4 million people over the age of 40 in the United States. While they are generally not dangerous, they can cause the gradual loss of eyesight.
What Causes Cataracts?
The lens in the human eye is 65% water. It contains no blood supply and is transparent to allow light to pass through. Our bodies continue to produce new cells to replenish our lenses. An array of factors can cause protein to build up on the lens, making it cloudy. Common causes include:
Age is the most common cause of cataracts. The condition may start to form long before the patient notices any loss of vision.
An injury to the eye at any age can cause a cataract to form.
Babies can be born with cataracts. This can happen as a result of injury, infection, or poor development before birth. They can also appear as the baby enters childhood.
- Symptoms & Side Effects
A cataract may be the symptom of a medical condition. They can also form as a side effect due to exposure to radiation, UV light, toxins, or when taking certain medications like diuretics or corticosteroids.
Your ophthalmologist may prescribe contacts or glasses in situations where vision can be corrected. Otherwise, cataract surgery may be required. This is an outpatient procedure that involves removing the lens and replacing it with an artificial one. Over 95% of patients who have cataract surgery report better vision afterward. Contact Eye Michigan for an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam and to find out if you need treatment for cataracts.