What are the risk factors for cataracts?

What are the risk factors for cataracts?

What are the risk factors for cataracts?

Cataracts and vision changes can develop for a variety of different reasons.

Some factors can make individuals more susceptible to the development of cataracts. These include:

  • Older age (seniors)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Previous eye injuries (including inflammation of the eye or following surgical procedures)
  • A family history of cataracts or certain genetic (inherited) disorders
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Diabetes (persistent high blood sugar levels / glucose)
  • Obesity
  • Substance abuse – smoking and heavy alcohol consumption (this causes damage to the lens of the eyes due to the formation of free radicals / chemicals which gradually damage cells)
  • Exposure to radiation (via X-rays or treatment procedures for cancer)
  • UV light exposure (particularly UVB or ultraviolet B)
  • Corrective surgery for glaucoma (can increase risk)
  • Infections experienced during pregnancy (rubella / German measles, or chickenpox / varicella)
  • Long-term use of steroid medications, such as for the treatment of conditions such as asthma or diuretics

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