Cataracts begin to form when the proteins in the lens of your eyes start to clump together. This causes your vision to become cloudy and it will continue to worsen over time. Cataracts can be caused by a number of different factors, such as age, prolonged sun exposure, or certain medical conditions.
Cataracts are an incredibly common condition but many patients know very little about them. And often, what patients do know about cataracts is incorrect. So let’s look at the five biggest misconceptions regarding cataracts:
- Cataracts can spread from one eye to the otherCataracts don’t pass from one eye to the other. In fact, it is possible to have a cataract form in one eye but not the other. This is because cataracts form in each eye separately.
- Cataracts only affect the elderlyThere is no doubt that your chances of developing cataracts increase with age. However, individuals can develop cataracts at any age. In fact, there have even been instances where babies have been born with cataracts.
- Cataracts cause obvious and painful symptomsMany people don’t realize that they have cataracts until their vision is severely impaired. This is because cataracts form painlessly and cause very few symptoms. As they worsen, you will likely begin to experience blurry vision and halos may start to form around light sources.
- Cataracts are very rareThis one is definitely false, cataracts are actually the leading cause of blindness in the world. They are more common than any other eye disease and are the number cause one of vision loss in individuals past the age of 40.
- There is no way to prevent cataractsThis one is partially true — there is no way to entirely prevent cataracts. However, there are ways you can reduce your risk. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection, eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, and avoiding secondhand smoke are all ways you can reduce your chances of getting cataracts.
Do you have more questions about cataracts? Or have you been living with cataracts and are curious about cataract surgery and how it could improve your life? Schedule an appointment today and we will get all of your questions answered for you!