We are always surprised by how unfamiliar many patients are with cataracts. Even though it is a fairly common eye disease, most patients know almost nothing about the risk factors and warning signs of cataracts.

Cataracts develop when proteins form in your eyes, causing the lens of the eye to become cloudy, resulting in vision loss. There are several different types of cataracts and they can be caused by age, medical conditions, or genetics.

The best way to protect your eyes from cataracts is to learn more about this condition and what to watch out for. So here are five things you may not know about cataracts!

UV rays can cause cataracts

It is just as important to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays as it is to protect your skin. UV rays can cause the protein in the lens to break down more quickly, forming cataracts. The best way to protect your eyes is by avoiding sunlight during certain times in the day or wearing UV-protective sunglasses and a hat.

Cataracts affect individuals of all ages

Many people mistakenly believe that cataracts is a disease that only affects the elderly. The truth is, cataracts are the biggest cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40 and the leading cause of blindness worldwide. And while the elderly do develop cataracts more often, cataracts affect people of all ages.

You can minimize your risk for cataracts

There is no way you can entirely prevent cataracts from forming but there are things you can do to minimize your risks. Wearing UV-protective sunglasses, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco are all things you can do to reduce your risks.

Cataracts can form without any symptoms

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that you will see the symptoms of cataracts before any major vision damage occurs. The truth is, cataracts often form painlessly and you may not be aware of them until significant vision damage has occurred. This is why it is so important to have yearly comprehensive vision screenings.

Surgery is the only solution for cataracts

If you catch your cataracts early enough you may be able to manage the symptoms temporarily with glasses or eye drops. However, the only treatment that will get rid of the cataracts is cataract surgery.

If your life has been impacted by cataracts or you would like to schedule a comprehensive vision screening, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today.