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Definition, Causes, and Symptoms of Cataracts, Not Only in Old Age

Definition, Causes, and Symptoms of Cataracts, Not Only in Old Age - Cataracts are a type of eye disease that is common in old age. Understand the causes of cataracts and their symptoms! The eye is one of the primary human senses that function to see. Eyes that function correctly can allow humans to read, see colors, and so on. However, like other body organs, the eyes are also at risk of disease or deterioration.

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One of the diseases that appear in the eye is cataracts. You may be familiar with cataracts as a disease of old age. Cataracts eyes are easily recognized by their gray eyes because the lens is cloudy, causing a person's vision to decrease.

Definition, Causes, and Symptoms of Cataracts, Not Only in Old Age

However, cataracts are not always caused by aging. Several conditions, such as genetics, accidents, radiation exposure, and other diseases, can also trigger cataracts. Let's understand more about cataracts, starting with understanding the causes of cataracts and their symptoms!

Cataract Eye Definition

Our eyeballs have clear natural eye lenses. The eye lens serves to reflect light that helps us see. However, this does not occur in eyes with cataracts. Cataracts are a condition in which the eye looks cloudy.

With age, the flexibility of the lens in the eye decreases. Finally, the proteins and fibers in the lens will agglomerate in the lens, thus making the lens cloudy and difficult for light to penetrate.

Cataracts are a disease that comes slowly and may not be felt by the sufferer. Over time, cataracts can cause discomfort when viewing. If not immediately followed up, cataracts have the potential to cause blindness.

Causes of Cataracts

Many people think that cataracts only appear due to aging. However, many factors can trigger cataracts, ranging from habits to genetics.

Because cataracts are a disease that develops over time, people with cataracts may not realize that their habits can increase their risk of developing cataracts.

The types of causes of cataracts are as follows:

Old Age

Cataracts are common in old age. As a result of the aging process, the protein in the lens will accumulate in the lens of the eye, thus forming a cloudy layer that covers the lens.

The lens that was initially clear will turn cloudy, with a vision that will eventually become blurred.



People with diabetes also have the potential to experience cataracts. This is caused by increased blood sugar in people with diabetes.

As a result, an increase in blood sugar can affect the structural changes that accelerate the formation of cataracts in the eye.



Not only triggers breathing problems, but smoking habits also impact the formation of cataracts. Smoking can increase the levels of free radicals exposed to the eyes.

These free radicals can destroy the proteins in the eye lens. Finally, the destroyed protein will clot in the eye’s lens and cause cataracts.


Trauma or Injury

Trauma and injury to the eye can be a cause of cataracts. Trauma to the eye can be a collision, puncture, or other accident that injures the eye.

Cataracts caused by trauma or injury can appear years after the accident.

Exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) Rays

People who work in direct sunlight and are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase the risk of cataracts.

UV light can potentially damage the proteins in the lens, causing oxidative stress, which triggers cataracts in the eye.

Genetic Factors

In addition to aging, genetic factors can cause cataracts. This triggers the appearance of cataracts at a young age.

This type of cataract is called a congenital cataract. A child may be born with cataracts due to a genetic error that causes the lens in the eye to develop abnormally.


Characteristics of Cataracts

Eyes Cataracts are a long-term disease that sufferers are not aware of. You can see firsthand one of the main symptoms of cataract sufferers, namely gray or cloudy eyes.

In cataract sufferers, one of the main symptoms felt is blurred vision. Some of the common symptoms experienced by cataract sufferers are as follows:

Blurred Vision

The main symptom of cataracts is a vision that feels blurry or blurry. A clot of protein in the lens of the eye causes this.

Protein buildup creates a cloudy coating on the eye’s lens, causing blurred vision. This protein can continue to accumulate and can cause severe visual impairment to blindness.

Difficulty Seeing at Night

Eyes need light to reflect to see. Of course, you will find several places, such as outdoors, that are not lit by lights at nightghts.

Cataract eyes with cloudy and blurred vision will have great difficulty seeing at night due to the lack of available light. Cataract sufferers will find it difficult to drive or read at night because of the cataract layer that has formed in the eye’s lens.

Difficulty Distinguishing Colors

One of the characteristics of cataracts is the difficulty in distinguishing colors. Cataract coating on the lens of the eye can affect color vision. Initially, people with cataracts may not feel this discoloration.

First, cataract sufferers will see a brownish or yellowish tinge. Over time, cataract sufferers will find it increasingly difficult to distinguish between blue and purple.

Double Vision

In some cases, cataracts can cause double vision. In this case, a person with cataracts will see two blurry objects in front of him. This double vision is also known as diplopia.

In cataract sufferers, this double vision will appear even if you only see with one eye, whereas seeing with one eye is usually done to focus the view.

Sensitivity to Light

Another feature of cataracts is increased sensitivity to light. Cataract sufferers will find it challenging to see bright sunlight. Lights in a room can look too bright or form halos like halos.

This symptom of sensitivity to light also makes it difficult for cataract sufferers to drive at night. This is caused by bright lights from street lamps or other vehicles that can hurt cataracts.

Changing Glasses Often

Although not a common symptom, changing glasses frequently can be one of the characteristics of cataracts. You will feel the glasses or contact lenses that you usually use start to feel uncomfortable.

This is, of course, caused by an increasingly thick layer of cataracts. As a result, cataract sufferers will often change glasses, both for minus and eye sufferers.

So, that's a brief understanding of cataracts, starting with their meaning, causes, and characteristics. Cataracts alone cannot be prevented entirely. However, we can reduce the risk of cataracts by living a healthy life from an early age.

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