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Cataract: Types & Risk

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An estimated 20.5 million Americans older than 40 have a cataract in at least one eye, according to the National Eye Institute. This week's health story for Cataract Awareness Month focuses on the different types of cataract and who's at the highest risk.

What Are The Different Types?

While most cataracts are age-related, it is important to also be familiar with the other types of cataracts that can develop:

  • Secondary cataract – A cataract that develops after another disease or surgery, such as glaucoma, diabetes, or even steroid use.
  • Traumatic cataract – Caused by an injury to the eye, a traumatic cataract can sometimes develop years after the injury.
  • Congenital cataract – A cataract present at birth or developed in early childhood, often in both eyes.
  • Radiation cataract – A cataract that develops due to exposure to certain types of radiation.

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If you think you're suffering from an eye condition or would simply like an eye exam, we encourage you to call 215.762.EYES (3937) and schedule an appointment with a Drexel Eye Physician.

Who's At Highest Risk?

Of the 20.5 million Americans over 40 with a cataract, women were more commonly affected than men, accounting for nearly 13.7 million cases of the disease.

Caucasians over 40 are also slightly more affected by cataracts than other races, particularly as age increases. With such an age connected disease however, it is important for all people over 40 to take their eye health seriously and see a doctor if any problems or concerns arise.

The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.

The images being used are for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted is a model.

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