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The most common type of cataract is related to aging of the eye. Other causes of cataract include:
Normally, the lens of the eye is clear. When a cataract develops, the lens becomes cloudy, similar to a frosted window. Located near the front of the eye, the lens focuses light on the retina at the back of the eye. Light passes through the lens to produce a sharp image on the retina. When a cataract forms, the lens can become so opaque and unclear that light cannot easily be transmitted to the retina.
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Cataracts occur due to a change in the chemical composition of the eye's lens, which causes the lens to become cloudy. This condition occurs in most people who live past 70, but frequent exposure to direct sunlight seems to accelerate the process. This condition can easily be treated with surgery to remove and replace the lens.
Aging-related (senile) cataracts form when the normal protective mechanisms of the eye are unable to prevent free-radical damage. The lens, like many other tissues of the body, depends on adequate levels and activities of antioxidant nutrients and enzymes for its normal protective mechanisms. When it is either overwhelmed by the demand for or deficient in the supply of antioxidant nutrient and enzymes, cataracts form. For example, exposure to cigarette smoke or sunlight increases the risk of cataracts by creating an increased need for antioxidant nutrients and enzymes in the lens of the eye.
Cataract is an aged related change to the natural lens of the eye that happens in almost everyone. The increased opacity of the lens can cause vision intitally to be blurred and hazy. One may intially notice seeing haloes around bright lights or glare at night from oncoming headlights as an intial sign. There are some studies to sugest that catracts are are caused by excessive sun exposure and are thus more common in populations who live closer to the equator. Cataracts are treated only when one cannot perform their daily routine because of vision impairment. The treatment of cataract is surgical removal; of the lens with the placement of a lens implant.