Cataracts are caused by protein build-up within your eyes that makes your vision blurry or cloudy. They often develop gradually, and you may not notice any difference in your vision at first. Eventually, it may seem as if you’re looking through a cloudy piece of glass.
The lens inside the eye is made of mostly water and protein. And, as you age, some of the protein may clump together, causing a small area of the lens to become cloudy. Over time, your vision may get worse as the protein builds and clouds more of the lens. Besides advancing age, other risk factors for cataracts include: sun exposure and other UV radiation; hypertension, diabetes, and obesity; smoking and alcohol consumption; a previous eye surgery or injury; or a family history of cataracts.
There are several different kinds of cataracts, and each have varying symptoms. Most people notice increasingly blurry or cloudy vision, have trouble seeing at night, find that colors appear faded, or have increased sensitivity to light.
Treatment may not be necessary if you don’t experience symptoms. Sometimes stronger eyeglasses or even sunglasses with an anti-glare coating can do the trick! But surgery may be required if cataracts affect your day-to-day activities. Your eye care professional can tell you more about your options for cataract treatments.
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