In order to focus on objects both far and near, your eye relies on the lens, a transparent layer that’s composed of water and protein. As people age, the proteins become more likely to group together to form a nuclear cataract — a cloudy growth over the center of the lens that can impair vision. But while aging may be the most common reason people develop cataracts, Reed Eye Associates of Greater Rochester, NY, notes there are several other types of the condition that can be caused by other factors.
Some others reasons you may develop cataracts include:
- Diabetes: Unlike nuclear cataracts, cortical cataracts refer to protein growths that develop around the perimeter of the lens. People who have diabetes have a risk of developing this type of cataract as a symptom of the disease. Typically, people with cortical cataracts will first experience a glare, particularly from lights at night. However, if the cataract isn’t removed, it can continue to grow toward the center of the lens.
- Eye Injury: If you experience trauma to the eye — either by blunt or penetrating force — you may develop a traumatic cataract over time.
- Eye Surgery: If you have eye surgery to treat another ocular disease — such as glaucoma — the procedure may prompt development of cataracts. This is what’s known as secondary cataracts.
- Birth Defect: Congenital cataracts are present at birth, but often don’t require intervention. However, if it’s found that the cataract is big enough to impair vision, an eye surgeon may need to remove it.
- Radiation Therapy: Some types of radiation therapy, such as ionizing radiation, can lead to cortical cataracts or subcapsular cataract — a form of the condition when proteins cloud behind the lens. Additionally, exposure to UV radiation, like that from sunlight, can cause cataracts.
Although there are many different reasons why you may develop a cataract, it doesn’t have to be a lifelong affliction. With the help of an eye surgeon, you can often have the cataract removed to help improve any vision impairment the condition caused.
If you believe you have cataracts, the trusted eye doctors at Reed Eye Associates will help diagnose the type of condition and discuss treatment needs. With skilled and experienced eye surgeons on staff, this eye care provider will comfortably accommodate cataract removal procedures. Operating six offices throughout the Greater Rochester area, these ocular health specialists are able to make your eye care easy and accessible. To schedule an appointment, call (585) 409-2020. You can also visit their website for office locations and more information about their eye care services.