(Last Updated on : 08/03/2014)
Cataract is a condition that develops in the lens of the eye. Though the actual reasons of this eye disorder are not known, it is believed that Causes of Cataract may be of the chemical changes in the lens that occur with aging. Furthermore, researchers are of the view that there may be several causes of cataracts including smoking, diabetes, and excessive exposure to sunlight. This eye disorder can affect any individual at any position or time.
One of the most common Causes of cataract is considered to be old age. Eye is a spherical structure that contains fluid. The frontal part of the eye contains the lens, which is just behind the iris - the coloured part of the eye. The lens helps to see things in focus. It focuses light rays on to the back of the eyeball (retina), to form an image, which is then transmitted to the brain. The lens is usually a clear structure which can change its shape to allow an individual to focus on near and distant objects. When the lens becomes cloudy it results to cataract. The lens is made up of water and a protein which is called crystallins in a healthy eye. These proteins act like filters allowing the light to enter into the eye and become focused on the retina. As an individual grows older, the protein found in the lenses begins to degenerate and clump, or gather, together. The gathering of this material blocks the light from normally entering through the lens and hit the back of the eye, the retina.
Though old age is one of the major factors, yet cataracts can develop earlier in an individual's life too. Among the foremost causes of cataract, diseases such as diabetes act as factors. The diabetics are more prone to cataract formation; moreover, people on certain drugs such as steroids can get affected by cataract. In addition to that traumatic eye injuries also cause cataracts to form and certain forms of radiation may lead to cataracts too. Other important causes of cataract include an injury of the eye, exposure to ultraviolet light from sunlight. Eating disorders and not eating a healthy and balanced diet can also cause cataract.
Cataracts are a condition which is not considered to be a disease and thus multiple reasons lead to the development of this eye disorder. Causes of cataract can develop from procedures preformed to correct other vision problems such as Glaucoma. Traumatic cataracts also develop from injury to the eye lens. Genetic problems lead to congenital cataracts and are found in babies and sometimes develop in childhood. Radiation cataracts can develop after some kinds of exposure such as excessive sunlight. A cataract may develop slowly over several years or rapidly within months and the other eye gets affected gradually. Cataracts are common in persons exposed to infrared radiation. There is other exposure to microwave radiation can also cause cataracts. In addition to that, Atopic or allergic conditions are known to develop cataracts, especially in children.