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At What Age Should I Worry About Cataracts?

Woman researching cataracts

Cataracts are an eye condition that affects everyone, as they usually occur as a result of aging. They typically begin their development when you are in your 40s or 50s.

It can take years or even decades for cataracts to develop! They usually only begin affecting your vision when you are in your 60s.

But age is not the only factor in cataract development. It is not only the older population that is at risk.

The good news is that no matter what stage of life you are in, you can get cataract surgery to have cataracts removed. Keep reading to learn if there is an age you should start worrying about cataracts!

Cataracts in Younger People

Cataracts are sometimes present in newborns. This usually occurs because of a genetic issue. With most cataracts, surgeons recommend waiting until they significantly affect vision before removing them.

In newborns, this is not the case. Newborns should have their cataracts removed as soon as possible.

Without proper vision, their eyes may not develop on the correct timeline. If this occurs, they could suffer from vision problems after having cataracts removed.

These could include amblyopia (lazy eye). In most cases, cataracts should be removed before they are 10 weeks old.

Infancy cataract surgery is every bit as safe as normal cataract surgery. Recovery may be a bit tricky, as you will need to make sure that the child does not rub their eyes.

Other Cataract Risk Factors

While cataracts are usually age-related, other habits or behaviors can speed up your timeline. There’s no way to guarantee you’ll never develop cataracts. There are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing them earlier. Consider the following:

Uncontrolled diabetes

If you have diabetes that isn’t under control, it can lead to earlier development of cataracts. Limit your sugar intake and keep your glucose levels down using insulin. This will keep you healthy and will help in other ways besides your eyes.

Sunlight exposure

UV rays are very harmful to the eyes, and not only because of cataracts. Limit your time outdoors, and be sure to wear sunglasses that are 100% UV protected when you do go outside.

If you are concerned about damaging your eyes, add a wide-brimmed hat to your outfit.

Smoking

Smoking causes a wide variety of health issues, cataracts being the least of them. Quitting isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it.

Even reducing your intake of cigarettes is worth it! Try and start today.

Corticosteroid medications

Certain medications may affect your eyes. This is a bit tricky, as you may need to take your medication to combat other health problems.

Talk to your general practitioner about your current medication if you have concerns.

Obesity

Diet and exercise are frequently mentioned when it comes to staying in shape. Did you know that being in shape is also good for your eyes?

If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about steps you can take to begin your weight loss journey.

Excessive drinking

Unlike smoking, alcohol is fine in moderation. Overdoing it can have lasting effects. Drink responsibly!

Concerned about if you may have cataracts or could need cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at Georgia Eye Associates in Atlanta, GA now!

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