You may be aware of what typically causes cataracts, but you may be surprised to find that the different kinds often have different causes. For example, you might know that one of the main causes of cataracts is simply old age, as protein tends to build up in the lens and cause blurriness. However, this is not the case with the other types. Find out the causes of cataracts other than just the age-related kind.
If you think that one of the only causes of cataracts is old age, you may be surprised to find that newborns can also have this eye condition, referred to as congenital cataracts. Obviously, their condition is not caused by protein buildup over time. Instead, it develops before birth, and can be caused by inflammation, metabolic conditions, and other medical issues, such as diabetes. Additionally, untreated infections in the mother during pregnancy, such as rubella, rubeola, syphilis, toxoplasmosis, influenza, and others can all be causes of cataracts in newborns.
Some cataracts are caused by things other than aging or conditions acquired in the womb. Secondary cataracts can be caused by medical conditions like diabetes in people of any age. Another cause of this type is the overuse of steroid medications or diuretics. Even exposure to certain dangerous things, such as radiation or UV rays, can harm the eyes enough for cataracts to develop.
The cause of this kind of eye condition is obvious, as trauma to the eye can result in one or more cataracts. You can be any age when this occurs, which unfortunately means that some children and even infants can get this kind of condition just through an injury to the eye. This is yet another reason to try your best to protect your eyes from trauma, as this and other conditions can develop easily. The good news is that this is one of the few causes of cataracts that may be prevented with some awareness.