Cataracts – Causes and Symptoms

Causes of Cataracts

Nearly everyone will develop cataracts at some point. Cataract is the term used to describe a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. This clouding of the lens is part of the normal aging process. Cataracts most often start to cause a noticeable difference in vision after 60 years of age. However, the formation of a cataract can be accelerated by many other factors besides age. These factors include trauma to the eye, infection, previous eye surgery and certain medications. Rarely, an infant is born with cataracts.

Symptoms of Cataracts

When we are young, the lens of the eye is flexible and clear. It can adjust or accommodate to allow us to see close or far away. At middle age, many people begin to notice difficulty with their reading vision. This is because the lens of the eye has stiffened and is no longer able to accommodate to see up close. As time goes on and the lens becomes cloudy, people may experience difficulty when driving at night due to glare from oncoming headlights. Decreased color perception as well as blurred vision for reading and seeing street signs may be experienced. Difficulty with other activities and a feeling that vision is just “not quite as sharp as it was” may also be symptoms of a cataract.

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