What Could Lead To Cataracts?
Many cataracts develop due to aging or even an injury. Changes to the tissue making up the eye’s lens often leads to cataract formation. Plus, some inherited genetic disorders increase your risk. You may not notice the early warning signs of cataracts. However, as the disease progresses and vision loss worsens, you will notice a significant decrease in how you see things.
Causes of Cataracts
No one is quite sure why the lens of the eye changes as we age. Researchers worldwide have worked diligently to identify common factors that may lead to cataracts. Besides aging, cataract risks include:
- Eye injury or inflammation
- Previous eye surgery
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Significant alcohol consumption
- High myopia
One theory researchers are currently exploring is that cataracts are caused by oxidative changes to the lens. Nutrition studies show that fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants help prevent cataracts. If you feel at-risk for cataracts, a change in diet may be necessary.
How Cataracts Form
The lens is located behind the colored portion of your eye (iris) – this is where the cataract forms. The lens is designed to focus light as it passes through the eye, forming a sharp image on the retina. As we age, our lenses become less flexible. They are thicker and less transparent. This thickness eventually leads to clouding, and thereby vision loss.
As a cataract develops, the clouding in the eye becomes thicker and covers a significant portion of the lens. The cataract blocks light passing through the lens, preventing a clear image from forming on the retina. As a result, vision becomes blurry or is lost altogether.