Are You at Risk for Cataracts?

  • Category: Blogs, Eye Health
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Horizon Health
Are You at Risk for Cataracts?

The risk of developing certain health conditions increases significantly as we age. Vision loss due to cataracts is a common condition associated with aging. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness among Americans age 40 and older. By recognizing the symptoms of early vision loss, and by taking the appropriate measures to have your vision corrected, you can retain your eyesight well into your senior years.

doctor examining patient eyeWhat is a Cataract?

A cataract is the cloudy area in the eye’s lens which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. The lens of the eye helps to put images into focus on the retina, which transmits images to the brain. Typically, a cataract develops in both eyes, but can affect one eye more than the other.

Even though cataracts can affect anyone, they most commonly occur in older adults. Cataracts affect the eyesight of nearly 25 million Americans age 40 and older. According to the National Eye Institute, more than half of Americans will develop a cataract or have cataract surgery by age 80. The exact cause of a cataract is unknown, and with more than 200,000 new cases per year, it’s become increasingly important to know the risk of cataracts.

According to Prevent Blindness, there are eight facts that increase the risk of developing cataracts besides age:

  • Excessive or long-term exposure to sunlight
  • Family history of cataracts
  • Inflammation in the eye
  • Previous eye injuries
  • Other diseases, such as diabetes
  • Eye diseases, such as glaucoma
  • Smoking
  • Long-term steroid use

In addition to knowing the risk factors associated with cataracts, individuals should be aware of the common signs and symptoms. Nearsightedness is a common, early symptom of cataracts. Older adults may also experience blurred vision, resulting in images appearing yellowish or brownish. If a cataract is left untreated, it can eventually lead to blindness.

If you or someone you know has cataracts or is showing signs of the disease, contact your healthcare provider or visit