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Identifying Eye Health Risks

While age is a top risk factor for cataracts, presbyopia, and glaucoma, there are other factors linked to a higher probability of developing vision problems. To determine if these factors are creating vision problems for you, schedule regular exams with your eye doctor.

  • Diabetes
    • High blood sugar may cause the lens to swell, leading to distorted vision
    • Can lead to diabetic retinopathy, a condition caused by high blood sugar levels causing damage to the retina. It is the leading cause of blindness in industrialized nations
  • Obesity and High Blood Pressure
    • Can lead to hypertensive retinopathy, a condition caused by high blood pressure damaging blood vessels in the retina. Most people do not notice symptoms until late in the disease. Symptoms include double vision, dim vision, vision loss, or headaches
  • Family History or Heredity
    • Onset of cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, hypertension, and astigmatism can be hereditary
    • A very strong genetic correlation exists with glaucoma
  • Drinking Excessive Amounts of Alcohol
    • Chronic drinkers are at a higher risk for eye disorders
  • Previous Eye Injury or Eye Surgery
    • This is the leading cause of cataracts in people under 40
    • Cataract surgery after an injury often carries a higher risk of complications
  • Extended Exposure to Sunlight
    • UV rays form free radicals (molecules associated with aging) in the eye that disturb the lens and retina