1- Ionizing Radiation
Ionizing radiation like X-rays, beta rays, gamma rays and neutrons can cause cataract.Most of these radiations can cause ionization of water with generation of free radicals such as hydroxyl and hydrogen radicals.
These agents are powerful reducing agents that will damage cellular DNA and cause damages and errors in protein synthesis and cataract formation. Formation of cataract can occur in a period ranging from 2 to 10 years and sometimes more and this period will depend on the age of the patients and the dose of radiation.
2- Infrared Radiation
Before the availability of protective lenses or goggles, infrared radiation was the cause of cataract formation in glassblowers workers and furnace workers and the name of this cataract is glassblowers cataracts.The mechanism of cataract formation is temperature rise of the iris and the lens.
3- Ultraviolet Light
Ultraviolet radiation source is the sunlight. With chronic exposure to sunlight there will be increase in the risk of cataract formation, possibly via the generations of reducing agents and free radicals.
Treatment and Prevention of radiation cataract
Once radiation cataracts are formed and the visual acuity is reduced , the only way of treatment is surgery.We can prevent or reduce the incidence of cataract formation by avoiding excessive sunlight exposure, wear sunglasses with UV absorbing glasses, wearing hat with a brim to reduce the affect of sunlight on your eyes and wearing protective lenses for glassblowers workers.
Poor nutrition will decrease the level of antioxidants in your body which will make you susceptible for free radicals damage.