What Are the Risk Factors for Developing Cataracts?
By Jeffrey Schultz on September 08, 2015
At Lifetime Eye Care, we not only offer quality treatments for a wide range of eye conditions, from glaucoma to cataracts, but also provide patient education about these conditions. It is part of our philosophy to empower our patients to become active participants in their own eye care, giving them the knowledge they need to take the best care possible of their eyes and recognize the symptoms of potential problems in their earliest stages, when they are easiest to treat.
When it comes to the timely treatment of cataracts, early diagnosis is essential. This is why we educate our patients about cataract risk factors during consultations at our Cleveland eye care clinic. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness globally. Fortunately, here in the United States, most people have access to good medical care; patients of Lifetime Eye Care have access to state-of-the-art cataract surgery and lens replacement technology. However, patients who know that they are at heightened risk of developing cataracts can come into our office for routine screenings to help keep their eyes healthy for as long as possible.
Remember, there is nothing more precious than your vision, and we would love to be your partners in helping you maintain excellent vision for a lifetime. That’s why we call our practice Lifetime Eye Care.
Understanding the Risk Factors for Cataracts
Eventually, everyone who lives long enough becomes at risk for developing cataracts. This is because the number-one risk factor for cataracts is age. At the age of 60, a person’s risk of developing cataracts begins to increase with each passing year. Roughly 50 percent of all American adults aged 75 and older either have cataracts or have had treatment for cataracts. Unfortunately, age-related cataracts are inevitable and cannot be prevented. Treatment can help to slow their progression, but eventually the diseased lenses will have to be removed and replaced by artificial intraocular lenses (IOLs).
Therefore, if you are aged 60 or older, you should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years.
There are other factors that could put you at greater risk for developing cataracts even earlier than the age of 60. In isolation, these factors may only slightly increase your risk; however, the more of these factors that apply to you, the greater your risk may be:
- Your gender: Females are more likely to develop cataracts before the age of 60 than males.
- Your heritage: People of African and Hispanic descent are more likely to develop cataracts than Asians and Caucasians, with people of African heritage being especially vulnerable.
- Your blood glucose level: Diabetics and other people with high blood glucose levels are at high risk of developing cataracts.
- Your eye health history: If you have had a history of eye diseases or injuries, you are more likely to develop cataracts regardless of your age.
- Your lifestyle: If you smoke or overindulge in alcohol, your risk of developing cataracts before the age of 60 increases substantially.
- Your family history: If cataracts run in your family, you are at risk, too.
Learn More about Cataract Risk Factors
To learn more about the risk factors for developing cataracts, please contact Lifetime Eye Care today.
Related to This
“Thank you for your care, kindness and help you have given me and my family over the years. Hopefully, many more to come. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness.” Mary B, Current Patient