Who Should be Concerned about Cataracts?

LASIK & Cataract Surgeons serving Gurnee, River Forest & Chicago



Are you at risk for cataracts? Certain medical conditions and lifestyle choices can increase your risk for developing this ocular condition that clouds the lens of your eye. Cataract surgery may be required to preserve your vision.

The doctors at the Kirk Eye Center are trained to diagnose and treat cataracts at various stages of their development. Early identification of any vision issue is advantageous for prompt and effective treatment, so don’t put off scheduling an appointment if the following risk factors apply to you.

Risk Factors

Understanding what factors contribute to cataract risk is important. This knowledge allows you to make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk in the areas you can affect change. Additionally, if you are at a high risk for cataracts, you can make sure to have frequent checkups with our doctors so that any changes can be addressed before serious vision loss occurs.

Medical Conditions

  • High blood pressure – Hypertension patients are at a higher risk for cataracts than those with blood pressure in the normal range.
  • Diabetes – Several ocular conditions are associated with an excess of glucose in the body, including cataracts. If you have diabetes, be sure to visit our office at least once a year. Most diabetes-related vision loss is preventable with early detection and effective management of your blood sugar.
  • Steroid medication use – Cataracts are a potential side effect of using steroid medications. If you must take steroid medications, it is important to have regular vision exams.
  • Obesity – Studies indicate that a higher body mass index (BMI) increases your risk for developing cataracts.

man getting eye exam

Ocular Conditions

  • History of eye surgery – If you have had eye surgery to address retinal issues or glaucoma, you could be at risk of a secondary cataract.
  • Ocular injury or inflammation – When an eye injury causes clouding of your eye’s lens, it’s referred to as a traumatic cataract.

Biological Factors

  • Family history of cataracts – If members of your family have developed cataracts at a young age, your risk is higher.
  • Getting older – If you are 60 years old or older, your risk for age-related cataracts is increased. Aging is a common cause of cataracts.

Lifestyle Factors

  • Smoking – A study found that smoking more than 15 cigarettes per day increases cataract risk by 42%. Quitting the habit can reduce your risk over time.
  • UV radiation – Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure has been linked to a higher risk of age-related cataracts. Damaging oxidative reactions are initiated by UV light.

Call Us to Schedule an Appointment

If one or more of these factors applies to you, do not delay in calling us at 708-771-3334. One of our experienced doctors can assess the health of your eyes, look for signs of cataracts and other ocular conditions, and intervene if cataracts have started to develop.

Remember that early detection is always going to work in your favor when it comes to treating an ocular condition and protecting your vision. We proudly serve the communities of Gurnee, River Forest, Cicero, and the greater Chicago area.