A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Can Young People Develop Cataracts?

by Damion Wasylow 16 November 2021 11:32 AM

middle-aged woman getting a cataract exam
While cataracts occur primarily in senior citizens, they’re not uncommon in individuals in their 40’s or 50’s. In some instances, babies can even be born with cataracts. So, if you experience cloudy or blurred vision, double vision, light sensitivity, glare or halos, these could be cataract symptoms, regardless of your age.

Cataract Risk Factors

Age is, of course, a major factor in a person’s risk of getting cataracts, but it’s not the lone consideration. A few additional risk factors that can increase your chances of developing cataracts include:

  • Eye injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to ultraviolet rays

So, if you want to lower your risk of developing cataracts, eat a healthy diet, avoid corticosteroids and limit or eliminate smoking and alcohol. Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses can also reduce your risk. And protect your eyes from trauma. Injury is the most common cause of early cataract development in people under the age of 45. 

Causes of Cataracts in Children

Cataracts in children aren’t necessarily severe early on, so their vision may be only slightly impaired or not impaired at all for many years. In most cases of children with cataracts, the condition is caused by:

  • Genetics passed down from parents, which cause the eye lens to not develop properly
  • Genetic disorders, such as Down’s syndrome
  • Infections during pregnancy, such as chickenpox or rubella
  • Eye injuries

Teens and children with cataracts that are not congenital often suffer some form of trauma to the eye. For example, a child may be hit in the eye with a football or hockey puck, and while their vision may return, cataracts may develop.

Correcting Cataracts

Surgically replacing the cataract damaged lens with an intraocular lens implant is the only means of correcting vision loss due to cataracts. Regardless of your age, cataract surgery will be required once the cataract limits your vision to the point of interfering with your quality of life.

At North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care, we perform thousands of successful cataract surgeries each year. Our ophthalmologists are specially trained and use the most advanced state-of-the-art equipment to provide patients with a pain-free surgical experience and speedy recovery.

To schedule your cataract consultation, contact our practice today at 352-373-4300.



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