Are Cataracts an Elderly Ailment?

Are Cataracts an Elderly Ailment?
December 11 08:37 2017 Print This Article

In the United States of America alone, 1 in 3 individuals are diagnosed with various forms of eye diseases that result in vision impairment, by the age of 65. The most common eye diseases, however, are diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. From the aforementioned eye conditions, the one that affects the elderly the most is cataracts.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is an eye condition that endorses clouding of the lens inside the eye, which results in impaired vision. Although most cataracts are age-related, the growth of the cataract itself stems from a young age. However, the formation of cataracts is so common in the elderly that by the age of 80, 75% of the population of American have either had cataract surgery to treat the condition or have a cataract. The eye condition usually affects one eye, but can also be present in both. It isn’t possible for a cataract to spread from one eye to the other but it is possible to prevent cataracts by taking precautions.

The Causes of Cataracts

The lens that is present within our eyes is much like that of a camera, and is made up of water and protein. As we grow old, the protein present in the lens tends to clump together which clouds an area of the lens, resulting in impaired vision. As time passes, the cataract might grow larger – this means that the formation of the cloud enlarges which further makes it difficult for one to see.

However, it cannot be said that the lens is solely responsible for the formation of cataracts, because the primary causes of cataracts revolve mainly around habitual behaviour such as smoking, or other health problems such as diabetes.  Here are some main factors that might cause cataracts:

  • Environmental problems – such as extended contact with UV light
  • Personal behaviour – such as alcoholism, smoking or related habits
  • Specific diseases – such as diabetes

Do Cataracts Affect Old People Only?

While it is true that cataracts are classified as an age-related eye condition, the formation of cataracts itself might affect one sooner – such as when they’re in their 30s. Thus, ‘age-related’ is said to be a rather misleading term because one can develop cataract a lot sooner and if they were to get an eye test from a good optician such as from, the subsistence of cataracts in your eye can also be spotted sooner and controlled by taking necessary precautions.

Symptoms of Cataracts

If you don’t have time to show up to the doctors’, keep an eye on these symptoms to spot cataracts:

  • Faded colours
  • Reduced night vision
  • Double vision
  • Multiple images in one eye
  • Appearance of halo around bright lights
  • Clouded and blurry vision
  • Prescription changes in contact lenses or eyeglasses

If you have been experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, there’s a chance that you may have cataracts, and should visit your optician at your earliest.

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Derrick Lopez
Derrick Lopez

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