Cataract : Causes

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. When the lens becomes cloudy, the light is blocked and scattered, and therefore the image that appears is blurred. As a cataract develops, it becomes harder for a person to see.

Cataracts are most often found in persons over the age of 55, but they are also occasionally found in younger people. A cataract can develop in one or both eyes, and it may or may not affect the entire lens. Usually, cataracts develop slowly and cause no pain.

For most people, cataracts are the natural result of aging. Some children are born with cataracts or develop it during childhood. These cataracts may not affect vision.
Family history can be a genetic predisposition. Cataracts can develop soon after an eye injury, or years later. It is likely to develop in people who have certain other health problems, like diabetes. Certain medications like steroids and cigarette smoking also cause cataracts.

Excessive long-term exposure to sunlight and exposure to heavy doses of radiation, as in cancer therapy can also result in a cataract.

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