At North County Laser Eye Associates, we may be known for offering the highest-quality laser vision correction in the region, but we are equally skilled at treating a variety of eye conditions, including cataracts. Eventually, assuming they live long enough, all humans will develop cataracts, the clouding over of the natural lenses of the eyes that occurs due to the clumping together of proteins. While cataracts remain a common cause of preventable blindness worldwide, they are rarely a cause of vision loss in the United States, where most people have access to quality eye care, including cataract surgery.
In order to treat cataracts promptly, it is important that they be diagnosed in their earliest stages. It is for this reason that our eye care professionals acquaint our patients with cataract risk factors during consultations at our San Diego, CA practice. This allows patients who are at high risk for cataracts to be particularly attentive to possible symptoms and seek treatment in the timeliest manner possible.
If any of the risk factors for cataracts described in this blog post apply to you, we encourage you to schedule a comprehensive eye examination at North County Laser Eye Associates today. Remember, there is nothing more precious than your vision, and we can help you preserve it for a lifetime.
What Are the Most Common Risk Factors for Cataracts?
Age is the biggest risk factor for cataracts. At the age of 60, a person’s risk for developing cataracts starts to increase annually. Approximately half of all American adults aged 75 and above either have cataracts or have undergone cataract surgery. Unfortunately, age-related cataracts are simply part of growing older, and nothing can be done to prevent them. Treatment can help to slow their development somewhat, but eventually the natural lenses will need to be surgically removed and replaced by artificial intraocular lenses (IOLs). This is why patients aged 60 or older must have an eye exam at least once every two years.
There are other factors that could put you at increased risk for cataracts though you may be younger than 60. If only one of these factors applies to you, your risk may be only slightly higher; however, if more than one applies to you, your risk could be significantly higher:
- Your gender: If you are female, you are more likely to develop cataracts before the age of 60 than a male would be.
- Your heritage: If you are African or of African descent, you are at higher risk for cataracts before the age of 60 than any other ethnic group. If you are Hispanic, you are at higher risk than Asians and Caucasians.
- Whether you are diabetic: Especially if your blood glucose levels are not well controlled, you are at higher risk for cataracts.
- Your eye health history: If you have had suffered an eye injury or eye disease, you are more likely to develop cataracts whatever your age.
- Your lifestyle: If you are a smoker or if you consume alcohol in large amounts, your risk for cataracts is higher than the general population.
- Your family history: If cataracts run in your family, you are also at risk.
Learn More about Cataract Risk Factors
To learn more about cataract risk factors, please contact North County Laser Eye Associates today.