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Cataracts, Genetic Testing

Cataracts are a common age-related eye condition characterized by clouding of the lens, leading to blurred vision. Surgery to replace the cloudy lens with an artificial one is a standard and effective treatment for cataracts, restoring clear vision. The assessment of the Polygenic Risk Score for cataracts is based on the examination of 24 gene polymorphisms.

Genetic testing for cataracts is included along with 12 other diseases in the Genetic Screening for Sensory Organs and Skin Diseases, Polygenic Risk Score.

Causes and non-genetic risk factors

The cause of the disease is the denaturation of lens proteins. Several risk factors may favor the process:

  • Age. It is the leading risk factor, being especially frequent in those over 70 years of age
  • Other uncontrolled diseases, such as diabetes or hypertension
  • Radiation. Excessive sun exposure (UV radiation), infrared rays, or ionizing radiation can cause cataracts
  • Eye injury or trauma
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications, such as corticosteroids
  • Undiagnosed celiac disease

Cataracts develop slowly and painlessly, with a progressive worsening of vision. Once the cataract is already evident, visual problems may include:

  • Sensitivity to glare
  • Cloudy, blurred, fuzzy, or hazy vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night or in dim light
  • Double vision
  • Loss of color intensity
  • Trouble seeing outlines against a background or the difference between shades of colors
  • Seeing halos around lights

Most people with cataracts have similar eye changes, although one eye may be worse.


The appearance of cataracts is difficult to prevent because age is the leading risk factor. However, there are a series of actions we can take to reduce the risk of cataracts appearing:

  • Avoid smoking
  • When the sun directly hits the eyes, sun protection is provided by wearing a hat and sunglasses
  • Avoid sun lamps and tanning booths
  • Healthy diet
  • Control diabetes and/or hypertension in case of suffering from it
  • Avoid the use of corticosteroids as much as possible
Additional information
Results Time4 - 5 Weeks
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