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Cataracts: Not Just A Senior Issue

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Cataracts are thought of by most people as a problem that only affects the elderly, but this is a common misconception. The truth is that this condition can strike at any age, which means that it can threaten the eyesight of younger adults. This article explores some key facts that middle-aged and young adults need to know about cataracts. 


Cataracts have a wide range of causes. The primary cause is changes in the tissue of the eye, but a number of secondary causes can lead to these changes. Obesity is a common issue leading to the formation of cataracts, as are alcohol and smoking. Diabetes can also cause cataracts to develop in some cases, and hypertension is known to lead to cataracts in certain people as well. 

Also, some studies show that smokers are twice as likely to develop cataracts as those who do not smoke. Other possible causes of cataracts include injuries to the eye and nutritional deficiencies. Obviously, any of these issues can develop at any time, so adults of any age need to be aware of the risks involved.


The treatment for cataracts in younger people depends on the severity of the problem. If the condition is not causing serious issues, then perhaps you can simply use brighter lighting, use magnifying lenses, or have your eyeglass prescription changed. 

Because having cataracts is a progressive condition, at some point, you will probably need surgery, especially if the cataracts are interfering with your daily activities.  Fortunately, cataract surgery is quite safe and effective, and it is the only way to resolve the problem for good and ensure an enhanced range of vision. Since cataract surgery is so effective, more younger adults are having the surgery done than ever.

What Happens

The surgery is virtually painless, says the National Eye Institute, and is typically done with a local anesthetic. It only takes about an hour from start to finish, and you will go home the same day. You will not be able to drive after the surgery, so you need someone to take you home. The recovery period is generally about eight weeks. You will, of course, need to have periodic visits to your eye doctor to make certain that the recovery process is proceeding normally.

Adults who develop cataracts at a younger age than normal have nothing to fear from cataract surgery, which can return their youthful vision and make their lives more enjoyable and fulfilling. To learn more about cataract surgery, consult with a cataract surgeon.