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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: August 08, 2013
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.
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