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​What is Cataracts

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What is Cataracts

Edward Gruber, CN


Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and the principal cause of blindness in the world. When we look at something, light rays travel into our eye through the pupil and are focused through the lens onto the retina. This process requires a clear lens; when a cataract (a filmy cloud) is present, vision is impeded.There are different kinds of cataracts; the type most commonly associated with aging form deep in the nucleus (central zone) of the lens.

Besides advancing age, cataract risk factors are believed to include exposure to ultraviolet radiation, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications and statin medicines for cholesterol, previous eye injury or inflammation, previous eye surgery, severe nearsightedness, hormone replacement therapy and family history.

Some experts now believe that cataracts can be caused by oxidative changes in the human lens, a theory supported by studies showing that fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants may help prevent certain types of cataracts