What is Cataract?

Cataract is one of the most common diseases of the eye that affects a sizable section of the world’s population. Although most cataracts appear in patients above 40 years of age, paediatric cataract is not a rare phenomenon either. So what exactly is cataract and how does it affect the eyes? Here’s all the information you’ll need.

What are the causes?

  • Cataracts are multi-faceted.
  • Old age : Most important factor.
  • Hereditary.
  • Traumatic cataract: Cataract due to injury
  • Medicines as steroids.
  • Systemic diseases like diabetes.
  • Long term exposure to sunlight.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

  • Painless blurring of vision
  • Glare and reduction of vision in bright light.
  • Double vision in one eye,
  • Fading of colors.
  • Frequent change in eye glass power.


  • Subcapsular cataract
  • Nuclear cataract
  • Cortical cataract

What Causes Cataracts?

The lens inside the eye works much like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina for clear vision. It also adjusts the eye’s focus, letting us see things clearly both up close and far away.

The lens is mostly made of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it.

But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract, and over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.

No one knows for sure why the eye’s lens changes as we age, forming cataracts. But researchers worldwide have identified factors that may cause cataracts or are associated with cataract development.

Risk Factors of Cataracts

  • Risk factors associated with cataracts include:

  • older age
  • heavy alcohol use
  •  smoking
  • obesity
  • high blood pressure
  • previous eye injuries
  • a family history of cataracts
  • too much sun exposure
  •  diabetes
  • exposure to radiation from X-rays and cancer treatments