Eye Care Services » Cataracts » Causes of Cataracts

Causes of Cataracts

Our doctors and compassionate staff can help you understand the risk factors and causes of cataracts at our White Plains, NY, office. If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, we can help you take steps to maintain healthy eyes and proper vision until surgery becomes necessary. In order to develop an effective treatment plan, doctors must first identify the type of cataract that is affecting your vision. Contact Maple Eye and Laser Center today to schedule an appointment.

Types of Cataracts

Cataracts occur when proteins within the crystalline lens of the eye begin to cluster, resulting in blurry or impaired vision. As the cataract grows, vision becomes progressively worse. Your doctor will evaluate the location of the clouding within your lens to identify one of three different types:

  • Nuclear cataracts: The most common type of cataract will form in the nucleus, or center, of the lens, and interfere with the ability to see objects in the distance.
  • Cortical cataracts: This type of cataract forms at the outer rim of the lens, and gradually moves toward the center, causing glare or a halo effect around lights.
  • Subcapsular cataracts: This is the most rapidly forming type of cataract. It occurs on the back of the lens, causing glare and blurriness.

It is possible for a patient to have more than one type of cataract at the same time. During an in-depth consultation, our doctors can examine your eyes to determine what kind of cataract is affecting your vision, and the best way to manage or treat the condition.

Risk Factors

Age is one of the greatest risk factors for developing cataracts, and more than 50 percent of everyone over age 65 can expect to develop the condition. In addition to age, there are several other environmental factors and lifestyle choices that can increase your risk of developing cataracts:

  • Trauma: Injuries to the eye can spur cataracts, even many years after the injury.
  • Congenital Factors: Some babies who experience infection or injury are born with cataracts.
  • Ultraviolet Radiation (UVA or UVB): Exposure to ultraviolet light has been shown to increase the risk of cataracts. It is advisable to wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
  • Medications: Certain medications have been shown to increase the risk of cataracts.
  • Diabetes: High levels of blood sugar can cause the lens of the eye to swell with excess fluid, making diabetic patients more susceptible to cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Obesity: Individuals with a BMI of 33 have at least a 30 percent greater likelihood of developing cataracts.
  • Injury, Inflammation, or Trauma to the Eye: Injury or trauma can cause chronic inflammation inside the eye, which is commonly linked to early and rapid cataract formation.
  • Smoking: Research has shown that smokers are at a higher risk for cataracts.
  • Alcohol: Consuming high levels of alcohol can increase the likelihood of cataract development.

Minimizing these risk factors and maintaining good overall health can help you delay or avoid developing cataracts.

Contact Our Office

At Maple Eye and Laser Center, we have the skill, experience, and technology to diagnose cataracts and develop treatment plans. If you are experiencing symptoms of cataracts, or if you would like to learn more about the different causes and risk factors of cataracts, contact our office today.

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Please contact us if you have a question, or would like to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon.