Cataracts are a condition of the eyes that usually develop at old age. It is the clouding of the lens on the inside of the eye that focuses on images falling on the retina.
Experts have it that every person on earth can develop cataract if they live long enough. Cataracts tend to take their own time to develop and come to affect one’s everyday life only after he/she has reached 60 years of age. Cataracts that form earlier than the stipulate time, they are referred to as premature cataracts. While one of the major risk factors for cataracts is age, there are some diseases that accelerate one’s chances of developing it.
People with diabetes are the most likely to develop cataracts and in such people, cataracts take an unusual turn of progressing faster. Diabetics run the risk of developing certain types of cataracts and often at a younger age such as the 30s and 40s. Cortical cataracts that develop around the edge of one’s lenses and move inward towards the centre and subscapular cataracts that develop at the rear of the lens are common among diabetics. Reasons why cataracts develop in diabetics is because of the rising blood sugar levels that can damage the lens. Some diabetics are given steroid injections in the eye to prevent diabetic changes in the eye; this may accelerate the development of cataracts.
Nearsightedness or myopia is often linked with the formation of cataracts. Nuclear cataracts that affect the central part of the lens and subscapular cataracts are associated with myopia. In fact, formation of cataracts is the highest in people who have high myopia.
This condition of the eye is referred to the inflammation of the uvea, a part of the eye between the sclera i.e. the outer most part of the eye and the retina at the rear of the eye. Uveitis has lots of causes and trauma and infection comprise the most common ones. In a lot of people, there may be no specific reason for this disease. Steroid drops that are given to patients with uveitis so as to decrease inflammation in the eye can increase one’s risk for the formation of cataracts.
Several diseases fall into the category of progeria implying that they lead to the formation of premature cataracts. Down’s syndrome is one such disease that can make a person congenially have cataracts.
Cataracts in old age cannot really be prevented, but premature ones can be prevented with the help of a healthful diet.
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