A cataract is an eye condition that occurs when the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy and more difficult to see through. Although everyone will develop a cataract at some point in their lives, many people don’t know some key facts about this condition.
1. Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness.
According to the CDC, cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness and the top cause of vision loss in the United States. By the age of 75, it’s estimated that half of all Americans will have cataracts.
2. Smoking increases your risk for cataracts.
Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of cataracts, as well as other eye conditions including glaucoma and macular degeneration. In fact, smokers have been found to be over twice as likely to develop cataracts than non-smokers.
3. Cataracts can develop at any age.
In most cases, cataracts start to develop around the age of 40, with symptoms appearing around the age of 60. However, it’s possible to develop cataracts at a younger age due to factors including:
- An eye injury
- Eye disease
- Lifestyle habits (i.e. smoking, obesity)
- Exposure to radiation
- Surgery on the retina
- Drug reactions
4. Some people are born with cataracts.
It’s also possible to be born with cataracts, although it’s extremely rare. Known as congenital cataracts, this occurs as a result of a birth defect.
5. Sun exposure increases your risk for cataracts.
UV radiation from the sun can increase your risk of developing cataracts. Wearing sunglasses that block out UV rays can help protect your eyes whenever you spend time outside.
Attending regular eye exams can help prevent vision loss by ensuring early intervention for cataracts. At The Eye Clinic of Florida, we’re also a leading provider of cataract surgery, which can restore your vision by replacing the cloudy lens with a lens replacement.
Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more!