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What Causes Cataracts?

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Blog

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EyeQue Team

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October 14, 2020

Man with cataracts

What Are Cataracts?  

Cataracts DiagramAll eyes have a lens in them that focuses light towards the retina. The lens is a clear, oval-shaped structure that sits behind the pupil. When we age, protein can clump together and cause the lens to become cloudy – this cloudiness is known as a cataract. Everyone will eventually develop cataracts if they live long enough. 

When cataracts are initially forming, they may cause decreased contrast sensitivity and blurry vision, and you can use better lighting or glasses to help you see more clearly. As they worsen and your vision becomes seriously impaired, you will need cataract surgery to regain clear vision in your eyes. Fortunately, cataract surgery is fast, safe, and effective with few complications. Approximately 10 million cataract surgeries are performed worldwide each year. With premium modern technologies, it is possible to have the vision fully corrected for distance, near, or even both, without needing glasses.  

There are four types of cataracts:  

  • Nuclear cataracts 
  • Cortical cataracts 
  • Posterior subcapsular cataracts (PSC) 
  • Congenital cataracts 

What Causes Early Cataracts?

Since the aging process is what causes cataracts to form, they usually develop in people ages 60 and up. However, if you are younger, there is still a chance that you may develop cataracts. You have a higher chance of developing cataracts early if:  

  • Cataracts run in your family 
  • You have diabetes 
  • You use steroids or radiation treatments 
  • You smoke 
  • You are in the sun a lot without 100% UV protection 
  • You consume excessive amounts of alcohol 
  • You have suffered blunt force trauma 

Cataracts can also occur in infants, but this is rare and is caused by a birth defect. 

What Causes Cataracts to Grow Fast?

The speed at which your cataracts develop depends on the type of cataracts that you have. For example, posterior subcapsular cataracts (PSC) are said to grow fastest. PSC are type of cataracts found in the bottom of the lens and they generally occur in younger people. This is because these cataracts are caused by trauma, exposure to radiation, or disease. Other types of cataracts may be slow to develop, taking many years or even decades before they start to affect the vision. 

To slow down the progression of cataracts, you should wear 100% UV protection over your eyes outdoors, avoid smoking, and have a nutritious and healthy diet full of antioxidants. 

With the Vision Monitoring Kit, you can track vision changes from home. The Insight vision screener offers an easy-to-use, one-minute contrast sensitivity test. If you notice that your vision changes frequently and have difficulty seeing in low-light conditionsthose may be signs that you have cataracts. If you think that you are developing cataracts, or that you are at a higher risk, speak to your doctor to get more information on your specific case and the steps you can take to protect your eyes. 

Track Vision Changes From Home

With the Vision Monitoring Kit, you have everything you need to order glasses from home. After testing your vision and measuring your pupillary distance, you can easily order a new pair of glasses online!

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