Are Cataracts Contagious?

A common misconception about cataracts is that they can be contagious. This article aims to dispel that myth and offer clarity on what cataracts really are.

Understanding Cataracts

Cataracts develop when the lens inside the eye becomes less transparent, affecting vision. They are commonly due to ageing but can also be influenced by factors like UV light exposure, smoking, and certain medical conditions.

The Short Answer: No, Cataracts Aren’t Contagious

Cataracts are not contagious. They can’t be passed from one person to another through any form of physical contact, including eye contact. Cataracts are not caused by bacteria, viruses, or any other infectious agents.

Implications: What This Means For You

You Can’t Catch Cataracts From Somebody Else

If someone you know has cataracts, there’s no need to worry about ‘catching’ it from them. Since cataracts are not contagious, you can freely interact with individuals who have this condition without fear of affecting your own eye health.

One eye Cannot Infect the Other Eye

If cataracts develop in one eye, it does not mean that the other eye will automatically develop cataracts too. Each eye is independent when it comes to the formation of cataracts, and one cannot ‘infect’ the other.

Why the Confusion?

Sometimes, people might confuse cataracts with other eye conditions that are infectious, such as conjunctivitis (commonly known as “pink eye”). While some eye issues can be spread through direct contact, cataracts are not one of them.

Consult Your Eye Doctor (Ophthalmologist)

If you have concerns about cataracts or any other eye-related conditions, the most reliable course of action is to consult an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye examination and personalised advice.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of your ophthalmologist or other qualified health professional with any questions or concerns you may have about your eyesight. The most reliable advice is obtained through a consultation and inspection from a medical specialist.


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