Cataracts have traditionally been seen mainly in the over 60 population. Therefore it is considered an age-related illness. However, this has been changing recently, as an increasing number of younger people have been diagnosed with the disease. Ophthalmologists are now wondering why younger people are now getting cataracts (learn more). Understanding this will help to determine what you can do about it.
Cataracts occur when there is an excess amount of protein on the lens of the eye. This build-up causes cloudy vision, as it inhibits the free passage of light into the eye. As a result, people find it difficult to see. Stronger prescription lenses are usually recommended for mild cases of cataracts, but more severe cases require lens transplant surgery.
Why younger people are getting cataracts
- Poor diet is believed to be a contributory factor to the emergence of cataracts at a young age. Many young people are consuming nutrient deficient diets. In particular they lack the key vitamins C and E, which are needed for healthy eyes.
- Alcohol consumption contributes to cataracts. Increased alcohol consumption is a worrying trend among young people, some of whom indulge in binge drinking.
- Diabetes can also lead to cataracts. The rising levels of obesity and consequent diagnosis of diabetes among the young, is also thought to be a factor in the upswing in cataract cases among them.
What you can do about it?
Young people should be aware of the risk factors for cataract, and be careful to avoid them. In addition, they should also have regular eye examinations done.
For more information, contact Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at the New View Eye Center, Reston, VA. Please call (703) 834 – 9777 to schedule an appointment.