The lens inside your eye is normally clear at birth and leaves the pupil dark. The lens gradually loses its transparency as we age. The increasing whiteness of the lens, visible in the pupil in advanced cases, is a cataract.
There is a genetic component to cataract formation, and there clearly is an aging component. Extensive exposure to sunlight, smoking, poor diets, and disease, such as diabetes, play a role in the growth of cataracts.
However, there are factors that might help prevent a cataract or at least slow its growth.
It is not practical to try to choose your parents or not get older. But, it would be good to wear a hat and/or sunglasses outdoors, eat an ideal diet, and consider vitamin and antioxidant supplementation. Also, do not smoke or drink to excess and do control any other chronic diseases well, especially diabetes.
Most people as they age have some degree of cataract and many of these limit vision and lifestyle by creating significant glare when driving or loss of fine detail at distance or near. Fortunately, cataract surgery can restore excellent visual function and, depending upon the options chosen, can reduce the need to wear glasses at distance or near.
If you are concerned that you may have cataract, seek an evaluation by an ophthalmologist who offers the latest options. At the Eye Clinic of Austin, we seek to offer you the options that we believe will be best you and for your vision—the same that we would choose for our family or ourselves in similar circumstances.