What Causes Cataracts?

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Cataracts are characterized by a cloudiness that develops on the natural lens of the eye or the membrane that surrounds the lens. When left untreated, cataracts can lead to hazy or blurry vision, vision loss, and even blindness. In fact, cataracts are the primary cause for blindness in the world, and currently affect an estimate of 22 million Americans over the age of 40.

Our eye surgeons often educate patients about common causes of cataracts and steps that can be taken to potentially reduce risk of cataract formation. Factors that may influence the development of cataracts include:

  • UV exposure from sunlight
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Certain medications
  • Genetics

While there is no conclusive evidence on how to prevent cataracts, research studies have indicated that certain foods and dietary supplements may help reduce risk. Vitamins C and E have been associated with decreased risk of cataract development, as well as lutein, zeaxanthin, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your vision from cataracts is to wear sunglasses outdoors to block UV rays. If you believe you may be suffering from cataracts, please do not hesitate to contact our office today and schedule a consultation with one of our eye surgeons.

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