what causes the lens to turn cloudy?

Complementary to our discussion of presbyopia is a consideration of the condition called cataracts, because both conditions are primarily focused on the lens inside the eye, and both are usually associated with ageing.

A cataract is any clouding of the crystalline lens so that the passage of light through the lens is interfered with. Although usually a problem of old age, people of all ages can develop cataracts, and even newborn babies sometimes have cataract clouding in the lens. Such diverse conditions as measles, diabetes, reaction to drugs, eye injuries, and alterations in body metabolism are associated with the development of cataracts.

As with so many other visual conditions, there is still no scientific explanation for the development of cataracts, and throughout the literature on the subject we encounter such statements as ‘no one really understands fully what causes the lens to turn cloudy.” In fact, the basic causation models in most illnesses are currently under question, as the impact of Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics data put into doubt the models of molecular biophysics.

All we can point to currently is the rising evidence that health and disease are factors of the individual in relationship to the environment. Our attitudes, diet, exercise, sense of time, and emotional health seem as important as our genetic and biological dimensions in remaining healthy; Cataract development certainly fits into this understanding also.

But regardless of the causes of cataracts, they are a primary source of visual failure. Over 400,000 cataract extractions are performed through eye surgery each year in the United States alone, and it is estimated that over 10 million individuals become visually disabled in the United States each year because of cataract. Fifteen per cent of the population between the ages of 52 and 85 have cataracts which noticeably reduce their visual potential.


 …see the next post and learn about an alternative approache on this topic …

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