October 23, 2014

What Causes Cataracts?

Most people are affected by cataracts as they age, which is why many are interested in finding out exactly what causes cataracts. They may not always be able to be prevented, but the chances of them forming can be reduced or delayed by following certain good habits and eliminating bad ones. Thus, the best way to reduce the chances of developing this issue may be education, starting with knowing what causes cataracts.

The Lens of the Eye

Cataracts are found on the lens of the eye, which sits just behind the iris. The job of the lens of the eye is to focus the light that passes through, allowing your retina to create the images that you see. A clear lens allows the retina to develop sharp images that are easy to see, but a lens affected by a cataract can disperse the light as it passes through. This makes it impossible for your retina to create clear images, resulting in blurry vision.

The Effects of the Cataract

Now that you know what the lens does, and what a cataract can do to the lens, you might want to know exactly what causes cataracts. The answer is that the aging process makes the lens quite inflexible compared to your younger years, and it also makes it a bit harder to see through clearly. In fact, the tissues of the lens tend to break apart and then collect in one spot on the lens, creating cloudy areas in the field of vision. Most cataracts only get larger as the eye ages, which means that the cloudy areas get bigger

You should know that cataracts can show up on either one or both eyes. Also, though they typically show up in old age, they can appear in people younger than the age of 60. In fact, some children have them, clearly as a result of something other than aging tissues on the lens. However, in most cases, what causes cataracts is the simple aging process, so while they cannot typically be prevented completely, you may be able to delay them.