When do Eye Cataracts actually occur? To start off, let’s understand more about Cataracts.
Cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Our lens is positioned behind the coloured part of our eye, and works much like a camera lens. It focuses light that passes through our eyes to produce clear vision on the retina.
For scientific illustrations as a Cataract Surgeon in Singapore would explain, our lens is made of water and protein. Naturally, the protein is arranged in such a way that keeps our lens clear and allows light to enter. As we get older, the protein starts to clump together and cloud small areas of our lens which results in blurry vision. Initially, there may be no changes in our eye-sight that will have an impact on our daily living. However, as the problem develops so does the clumps of protein grow. This makes our lenses less flexible, transparent and thicker, clouding our vision to a level where reading, driving or daily activities become compromised.
What age does it usually occur?
It is not until after the age of 60 that most people become aware of it. This is when the impacts of cataracts start to interfere with daily routine. However, early stages of development can start at 40 years old. Although no one knows why exactly this happens, our lenses naturally go through an aging process as we reach our 40s. DLS (Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome) is the classification for the early stages of cataracts. Whether diagnosed with early or advanced stages of DLS, one should seek treatment to stop the progression of cataracts. Once patients with DLS reach 60 years old, it is natural that your lens will turn cloudy and develop cataracts within 65 – 75 years of age.
Although it is a natural part of aging for our lens to change form, there are identified factors that are also associated with cataract development. If taken into precaution while we are younger, we can reduce the risk of developing further complications in our later years.
Besides aging, some cataract risk factors include; ultraviolet radiation, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking, statin medicines used to reduce cholesterol, previous eye surgery, significant alcohol consumption, family history. When visiting a Cataract Surgery in Singapore it is important to take these factors into consideration.
An interesting research topic was conducted to identify whether race/ethnicity has an affect on the risk of developing cataracts. The results provide useful information to encourage people with certain backgrounds to take more precaution as their heritage brings increased risk for eye diseases.
Compared to Caucasians, people of African or Asian heritage have a much higher risk of developing cataracts and would require cataract surgery. Scientific reasons as to why this is the case is still unclear, however, researchers predict it could be due to increased intraocular pressure in the eyes. Regardless of the reason, this is a reminder for everyone who falls in these ethnic backgrounds to take early steps to protect your sight. Consult a cataract surgeon in Singapore at the earliest stage to make known of your problems by a specialist.