What Causes Early-Onset Cataracts?

What Causes Early-Onset Cataracts?

When you hear the word ‘cataracts,’ you probably think of an older person. While it’s true that cataracts are more common in those over the age of 60, they can appear in people who are younger, and some individuals are even born with them! These cases are usually known as early-onset cataracts, and they happen for a number of reasons.

What are Early Onset Cataracts?

Cataracts are considered early-onset when they occur in individuals under the age of 60. Although many factors can contribute to the early development of cataracts, the exact cause is unknown.

In general, cataracts occur when the lens inside your eye clouds up and prevents light from entering, resulting in blurred and dim vision. They tend to affect night vision first, which is when people realize that something is wrong with their sight. Leaving cataracts untreated can result in significant vision loss and even blindness. 

What Causes Early-Onset Cataracts?

Despite extensive research on the subject, it is not yet known what causes early-onset cataracts. Considering what we know about cataracts and associated risk factors, we can assume that these factors may play a role in the development of early cataracts:

Even if the exact cause is unknown, the good news is that cataracts can be treated successfully regardless of your age.

How is Cataract Surgery Performed?

At Uptown Eye Specialists, our signature cataract procedure is UltraView ReLACS™, which uses an image-guided femtosecond laser to perform key steps such as:

The intraocular lens is injected through the small corneal incision, where it unfolds in the empty capsule behind the iris. 

Your choice of intraocular lens (IOL) is crucial since it will replace your natural lens. There are many types of intraocular lenses available, some of which correct common refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) astigmatism, and even presbyopia, which is the gradual loss of ability to focus on nearby objects. Your doctor will help you select a lens that corrects your vision issues and compliments your lifestyle.

Cataract patients at Uptown Eye also have the option of traditional manual cataract surgery. Using a handheld blade, your doctor will gently make tiny incisions on the edge of your cornea before opening the capsule containing the cataract. The cloudy lens is then broken apart using ultrasound energy and suctioned out before being replaced by the IOL. The small incision later seals itself naturally for a comfortable healing experience.

What is the Recovery Time Like After Cataract Surgery?

Healing is faster and easier than many cataract patients expect. As your eyes adjust to the IOL, you may find that your vision fluctuates a bit, but this is completely normal. We will give you instructions to follow and advise you on any activities you should avoid. Your doctor will also schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that the healing process is proceeding as it should.

Are You Concerned That You May Have Early-Onset Cataracts?

If you’re under 60 and noticing cloudiness in your vision, speak to your eye doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Our cataract surgeons at Uptown Eye Specialists are highly skilled and have handled many cases involving early-onset cataracts. To learn more, please call (416) 292-0330 or contact us online.

Please reschedule your appointment if within the last 14 days you or a household member has travelled outside of Canada, have experienced flu-like symptoms, been in contact with a suspected, probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, been diagnosed with COVID-19 or waiting for a lab test for COVID-19.
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