What is Cataract?
A cataract is when your eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy. The proteins present in your lens break down and cause things to look blurry, hazy or less colorful. You may see double, colors look faded, your eyes are extra sensitive to light and you usually have trouble seeing well at night. Our natural lens bends light rays that come into the eye to help us see. The lens must be clear to experience clear vision.
With age, the proteins inside your lens can clump together turning the lens from clear to cloudy. Cataracts can be surgically removed through an outpatient procedure that restores vision.
Related Blog: Cataract Types, Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors
Cataracts in Young Adults
Cataracts can rob you of your vision. They are usually associated with people over the age of 60 but can affect younger people too. Individuals who develop cataracts early in life are said to have early-onset cataracts.
Causes of Cataracts in Young Adults
Although cataracts in young people are not common, it is important to know their potential causes. Read on to find out what causes these premature cataracts:
The risk of cataracts in diabetic patients is double that of individuals who do not have this medical condition. The cause of early-onset cataracts in diabetic patients is uncontrolled blood sugar.
Hypertension is the prominent risk factor in cataract patients. Blood vessels carry blood not only to your heart but also to your eyes. High blood pressure usually causes heart and kidney problems but can also affect your eyesight and lead to cataract.
3. Traumatic Injury To The Eye
A blunt force to the eye can cause a portion of the eye’s lens to become cloudy or opaque.
Treatment depends on several factors including:
1. The intensity of the blunt force.
2. Whether the damage is extending or fixed.
3. The health of the patient.
4. High Myopia (nearsightedness)
Various studies have found that individuals with high myopia, particularly when early-onset or detected before they turn 20 years of age, are more likely to develop cataracts later on. The increasing axial eyeball length in myopic eyes may prevent nutrient delivery to the back side of the lenses. As a result, they lose their clarity and begin forming cataracts.
5. Use Of Steroidal Medications
The on-going use of certain drugs, such as statins and steroids, can contribute to early cataract formation.
6. Family History
We are all at a risk of developing cataracts due to aging, but one important risk factor to pay attention to is family history. If you have close relatives who have had cataracts your chances of developing cataracts is higher than those with no family history.
Poor diet and obesity heighten the risk of eye related diseases such as cataracts. The eyes are put under increased strain from high blood pressure, oxidative stress and disordered lipid metabolism, which are all associated with increased weight levels.
The harsh effects of smoking on lungs and the heart has been well established by medical researchers. smokers have double the risk of developing cataracts compared with non-smokers. This risk is triple the intensity for heavy smokers.
The more you smoke, the higher your chances of developing cataracts.
9. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Consuming alcohol weakens the muscles of your eyes and can damage your optic nerves which sends images to your brain. Alcohol results in slow communication between the eyes and the brains.
Can You Get Cataracts In Your 20’s?
In some cases, cataracts can even occur at birth. Usually when we hear or read the word cataract we associate it to older people. But nowadays, it is not so uncommon for people to develop cataracts in their 40s, 30s or even 20s. While older patients might delay cataract surgery, younger patients who are still working or raising families may benefit from earlier direct intervention, including surgery.
So yes, if you are in your 20s you can still develop cataracts but with the correct care and treatment, you can achieve perfect vision once again.
After cataract surgery, many patients find that their vision seems to be better than before!
Is It Normal To Get Cataracts At A Young Age?
The symptoms of cataracts are the same whether they develop in younger adults or people in their 60s, 70s, and beyond. It is completely normal to develop cataract in your 20s or 30s. The important factor is finding a good ophthalmologist who will be able to use their expertise to cure your cataract.
In conclusion, more people than you know are suffering from cataracts in their 20s. It is not uncommon to see cataracts in very young patients in their teens and 20’s for various reasons as we have mentioned above.
While early onset cataracts are not common, it is important to know the causes, warning signs, and treatment options for early onset cataracts. This article gives you a clear idea about the causes of premature cataract. Here are a few ways you can prevent your cataract from getting worse:
- Have regular eye exams.
- Watch your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
- Stop smoking altogether.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption.
- Always eat a balanced and healthy diet.
With the right ophthalmologist and correct guidance there is no need to stress about suffering from cataract at any given age.
If you think you have cataract, no matter what your age, see your ophthalmologist.
Need expert advice about cataracts or other vision problems? Dr. Jeevan Ladi and his team of experts at Dada Laser Eye Institute Pune are here to help.
Book your appointment today (+91) 9922995549
To know more about our services, click here, Cataract Surgery in Pune.