Eye color may play a role in cataract development

Eye color may play a role in cataract development

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When it comes to cataracts, there are many factors that can increase the risk of them forming and eye color is one of those factors.


While age, smoking history, family history and excessive sunlight are widely known as contributing to cataract development, eye color is not as well known as being a factor. Study results published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology reveals that people with dark brown eyes were 1.5 times more likely to have nuclear cataracts and 2.5 times more likely to have posterior subcapsular cataracts when compared to people with light iris colors.

There are a couple of theories regarding this connection. Some researchers believe that the dark brown color absorbs more light than lighter colors, which causes the lens of the eye to absorb more heat and then in turn, clouds the lens over time. Another theory is that in certain geographical areas where there is more sun exposure, there are more people in those areas with darker iris colors and they are subjected to greater concentrations of sunlight.

There are steps to take to help prevent the development of cataracts. Wearing appropriate sunglasses that offer UV protection, as well as a hat with a brim when out in the sun are good ways to start. If you are a smoker, kicking the habit will also lessen the risk and eating colorful vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers and leafy greens are eye healthy choices.

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