Where Do Cataracts Come From?

Cataracts are a common eye condition that affects many people, especially as they age. But where do they actually come from? This article aims to explain the origin and common causes of cataracts.

Where Do Cataracts Come From

Understanding the Eye Structure

The eye contains a natural lens situated behind the iris (the coloured part of your eye). This lens helps to focus light onto the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. When the lens becomes cloudy, it affects your vision, and this clouding is known as a cataract.

Common Causes


The most common cause of cataracts is ageing. As you get older, the proteins in your eye’s lens may start to break down, leading to clouding.

Recent research shows that developing a cataract is just like developing grey hair. The natural lens in your eye is supposed to be clear (transparent), but in time it becomes dull (opaque). Everybody, if they get old enough, can develop cataracts.

Lifestyle Factors

Factors like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and prolonged exposure to sunlight can also contribute to the development of cataracts.

Health Conditions

Certain health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure can increase the risk of developing cataracts.


Some medications, such as corticosteroids, may accelerate cataract formation when used for prolonged periods.


Eye injuries can also lead to cataracts, although these are less common.


Family history can play a role, making some individuals more prone to developing cataracts. Your genetic makeup can play a significant role in determining when you may develop cataracts. In some rare cases, genetic predisposition is so strong that babies have been born with cataracts.

Prevention Measures

While some causes of cataracts are inevitable, like ageing, lifestyle changes such as wearing sunglasses with UV protection, eating a balanced diet, and not smoking can reduce your risk.

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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