Apex, NC Optometrist Discusses Five Common Risk Factors of Cataracts

Apex, NC Optometrist Discusses Five Common Risk Factors of Cataracts

Cataracts are one of the most common causes of blindness. It’s inherent in the aging process, so everyone is at risk. Aside from age, other risk factors for cataracts include diabetes, family history, smoking, and drinking. If you believe you have these risk factors, your friendly Apex, NC optometrist would like to share with you some of the steps you can take to help protect your vision, depending on your level of risk.

risk factors of cataracts

Advanced age

Cataracts are most common in people with advanced age. In fact, 70 percent of people age 75 years old and above will have cataracts. Age-related cataract will start to blur vision, and this worsens with time. If you notice these symptoms, let your eye doctor know.

Family history

As with many medical conditions, family history can be a key determining factor in your risk for cataracts. Be sure to know if cataracts are prevalent in your family, and take note of it in any medical paperwork you’re asked to fill out. This will inform your doctor about the need to look out for early signs of the disease.


Tobacco has negative effects on many tissues of the body, including the eyes. According to the CDC, smoking increases your risk of cataracts by two to three times. This is one of the many reasons why doctors advise their patients to quit smoking.

Alcohol abuse

Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the eye because it causes eye proteins to turn opaque, which in turn can increase glare and make vision blurry. The more you drink, the greater the risk, so it’s best to practice caution against excessive alcohol use.


Diabetes patients who are not able to manage their sugar levels can develop cataracts. This is because high glucose levels can cause swelling in the eye lenses, which can make vision turn blurry or yellow. If you suffer from diabetes, don’t forget to take regular eye exams.

Protecting your vision is a priority. While some risk factors cannot be changed, there are several lifestyle changes that you can make to preserve your eyesight. If your vision is starting to blur, you may already have cataracts. Visit your Apex, NC eye care center and talk to an eye doctor about possible treatments, as well as the lifestyle changes that you need to make.


(Who Is at Risk for Cataracts?, AAO.org)

(Facts About Cataract, NEI.NIH.gov)