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The odds of developing cataracts or having cataract surgery by age 80 is about 50/50. More than half of Americans will experience vision changes due to cataracts brought on by the advancement of age. Cataracts are considered one of the leading causes of blindness, but the good news is that they are easily treatable. Over the age of 40, proteins in the clear, flexible, natural lens of the eye begin to break down and clump together forming a cloudy area over the eye, distorting and worsening eyesight. 

Types of cataracts include pediatric cataracts, traumatic cataracts, and secondary contacts; however, the most common type of cataract is age-related. Types of age-related cataracts are referenced by their location in the lens. These include nuclear sclerotic, cortical, and posterior subcapsular. While there is no direct cause for cataracts there are environmental, medical, and genetic risk factors that contribute to cataract development. Environmental factors are harmful because of the increase in the amount of free radicals in the body whereby unstable molecules can damage healthy cells. Environmental risk factors include air pollution, tobacco smoke, alcohol, industrial chemicals, pesticides, long term UV light exposure, and a history of radiation therapy. Medical risk factors for cataract formation include diabetes, glaucoma, the use of corticosteroids, and certain eye conditions such as retina pigmentosa or uveitis. Genetic risk factors include mutations that cause the lens of the eye to be more vulnerable to damage from environmental factors. This is why sharing your medical and family history is important during a comprehensive eye exam so that your ophthalmologist can run any necessary testing to determine a cataract diagnosis.  
By taking into consideration the age-old tale of cataracts, with causes and risk factors, managing your overall health is important to protecting your vision. Stop smoking, reduce alcohol use, maintain a healthy diet, shield your eyes from ultraviolet exposure, and schedule routine eye exams for preventative care. If you are concerned about cataracts talk with your eye doctor at Eye Institute of South Jersey, P.C.. We can discuss your risk of developing cataracts and prescribe a treatment plan should your test results suggest cataract formation. Call today at 856-205-1100 or visit WEBSITE.

Eye Institute of South Jersey, PC

Eye Institute of South Jersey, PC
3071 E Chestnut Ave Suite #6-B
Vineland, NJ 08361

(856) 205-1100