Cataracts are the number one cause of blindness throughout the world. Most common in older people, in fact, by age 80 more than half of all Americans have cataracts or have had surgery to remove cataracts. Cataracts form when protein builds up in the lens of the eye, causing cloudiness. It prevents light from passing through the lens and causes some vision loss. Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes, but the condition can spread from one to the other. Can cataracts be prevented? The good news is there are ways you can prevent cataracts or lessen the severity of the condition.
Important Actions to Prevent Cataracts
1. Eat Right
Research shows that diets rich in antioxidants and vitamins and minerals can reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Consuming foods containing lutein and zeaxanthin, such as yellow and dark leafy vegetables, in addition to omega-3 fatty acids can decrease risk factors. Also, including foods high in beta-carotene, selenium, plus vitamins C and E can also be helpful. Eating right also keeps blood sugar under control and can prevent diabetes, another cause of cataracts.
2. Quit Smoking
Quitting now has a number of health benefits. Smoking has been linked to higher incidence of cataracts. So if you need another reason to throw away that pack, consider the health of your eyes and your vision.
3. Drink in Moderation
It seems these days everything you read advises everything in moderation. And with good reason. Like smoking, excessive drinking poses numerous health risks. An occasional overindulgence is probably fine, just try to limit consumption and balance it out.
4. Wear Sunglasses
Chronic overexposure to UV light is a cause of cataracts. Therefore, protect your eyes from the sun. We recommend that you always wear sunglasses, even on overcast days. Consider doubling up with wide-brimmed hat, especially if you plan on spending the entire day out in the sun,
5. Visit Your Eye Doctor
Even if your vision is clear and seems healthy, it is important to have your eyes examined every year. While cataracts develop slowly, if you miss your annual appointment, the condition will go unnoticed. Routine exams include screening for signs of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Early detection can save your vision.
In addition to the above, Looking Glass Optical recommends a yearly eye exam, beginning at an early age. Our comprehensive eye exam includes not only a vision analysis but screening for a myriad of vision disorders. If you have more questions about the causes and ways to prevent cataracts, contact us today.