A cataract is a condition where the lens of our eye becomes cloudy over time. As we age, some of the proteins that make up the structure of our lens begin to clump together, causing the cloudy appearance. Cataracts tend to grow larger over a period of time. As a result, the clouding effect gets larger and more opaque, making it more difficult to see clearly. Most studies agree these changes occur in the lens due to ultraviolet light damage from the sun. Some other causes may include cosmic radiation, diabetes, steroids, high intake of salt and smoking. In addition, researchers also believe that hormone replacement therapy may increase a cataract formation by 14% (Ophthalmology March 2010).
Everybody gets cataracts eventually because we are all exposed to the one or more of the cataract causing agents mentioned above over our lifetime. However, you may never need surgery for your cataract if the cloudiness remains minimal into your senior years. I recommend UV protection and maintaining good general health to all patients who want to decrease their chances of requiring surgical intervention. Annual eye exams are recommended to detect and monitor the progression of cataracts.
Dr. Sherman Tung, OD FAAO email@example.com
Vancouver Kerrisdale Optometrist