Cataracts in Young People. Is it Possible? - Center For Sight Skip to content

Why Cataracts? Why So Young?

There are various causes of cataracts besides age old age, cataracts in young people happen too!

Cataracts—clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens—can rob you of your vision. Although the exact cause is unclear, in most cases, cataracts are associated with people age 60 and above. However, there have been cases of cataracts in young people as well.

Cataracts affect over 24.4 million Americans age 40 and older, or about one in every six people in this age range. By age 80, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts. It is the leading cause of blindness in adults (Prevent Blindness America).

Types of cataracts include:

  1. Subcapsular, occurring at the back of the lens
  2. Nuclear, forming deep in the central zone (nucleus) of the lens
  3. Cortical, wedging their way in the periphery of the lens and migrating their way to the lens cortex that surrounds the nucleus

Among people of any age who have a cataract, the first signs of a problem are increasing difficulty seeing clearly at night, sensitivity to light and glare, and hazy or clouded vision. Modern medicine is not yet able to prevent cataracts from forming. Without intervention from an ophthalmology specialist such as those at Center For Sight, Las Vegas, vision problems can become more progressive and can lead to significant vision loss and even blindness.

Causes of Cataracts

Although cataracts in young people are not common, it is important to know their potential causes:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Traumatic injury to the eye
  • High myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Use of steroidal medications
  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Ultraviolet light exposure

Sometimes there are no clear causes. A somewhat newer scientific theory about early onset of cataracts points to the prolonged use of smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices as a possible cause for the development of vision problems, including cataracts in young people.

Healthy dietary choices may help reduce the risk of cataracts at any age. Scientists propose that cataract formation results from oxidative changes in the human lens. Nutrition studies support this idea in that fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants may help prevent certain types of cataracts.

Consider a healthy, higher dietary intake of:

  • Vitamin E found in almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, broccoli and spinach
  • Dark green, leafy vegetables and colorful fruits
  • Antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and beta-carotene
  • Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, nuts and seeds

Cataract Treatment

Doctors cannot treat cataracts with medicine or lifestyle changes. They must be surgically removed.

Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded natural lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) implant. Cataract surgery is one of the most routine corrective eye surgeries performed in the United States today with more than 3.6 million procedures taking place each year (Review of Ophthalmology). The majority of patients find that cataract surgery is a simple, relatively painless procedure that offers great success in restoring vision. Often, patients are able to see clearly again without dependence on glasses or contacts.

At Center For Sight, Las Vegas cataract surgeons have performed thousands of successful cataract procedures from conventional to highly advanced blade-free laser techniques with premium lens implants to help patients regain clear vision and be free of their glasses, bifocals and even reading glasses. Our goal is to make your world 20/happy. Ask us how!

Trust your eyes to Center For Sight, Las Vegas. Schedule an appointment to come in and see one of our expert ophthalmologists, who will perform a comprehensive cataract evaluation and can help you determine which type of lens implant is best for you.

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