Skip to content

    Cataracts Health Center

    Font Size

    Cataracts - Cause

    A cataract occurs when the lens inside your eye becomes cloudy. Things linked to clouding include:

    • Aging (age-related cataracts).
    • Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as from sunlight, tanning booths, or sunlamps.
    • Diabetes. Diabetes, especially when the blood sugar levels are above the safe range, causes changes in the eye that can result in cataracts.
    • Disease inside the eye, such as glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, retinal detachment, or long-term uveitis.
    • Long-term use of steroid medicines.
    • Frequent X-rays or radiation treatments to the head.
    • Family history (genetics). A person may inherit the tendency to develop cataracts.
    • Vitrectomy. People who have had the vitreous gel removed from their eye (vitrectomy) have an increased risk of cataracts.
    • Eye injury. Even though injury-related cataracts are rare, injury is a leading cause of cataracts in children.
    • Being born with cataracts (congenital). Some children are born with the condition.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Common Eye Conditions Slideshow
    Slide Vision Test
    picture of the eyes
    Image Collection
    Cataracts Surgery

    Womans Eye
    Low Vision Aids
    human eye