Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens that causes blurry or hazy vision and other visual symptoms. They are one of the most common causes of blindness and visual impairment worldwide.
Aging is the biggest risk factor for cataracts, and most cases of cataracts are due to the natural effects of the aging process. However, other risk factors are thought to play a role in the development of cataracts.
Obviously there is no way to avoid the effects of aging; also, there is no scientific evidence to prove that addressing other risk factors can always prevent cataracts. However, the team at The 20/20 Institute believes it can only do you good to avoid or treat the risk factors that are in within your control.
Take a moment to learn what you can do to potentially lower your risk of cataracts or slow their development.
Refrain from Smoking and Drinking in Excess
Research suggests that tobacco use and excess alcohol consumption increase your risk of developing cataracts. Try to keep your vices in check by not smoking and enjoying alcohol only in moderation.
A healthy diet is important for several reasons. First, consuming certain antioxidants via food sources or supplementation can help neutralize free radicals that are thought to contribute to the development of eye diseases like cataracts. Another reason to eat right is to keep diabetes in check, as diabetes is another known risk factor for cataracts.
Make it a priority to eat foods that are high in vitamins and antioxidants, such as leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, and cold-water fish.
Protect Your Eyes from Long-Term Exposure to Sunlight
Ultraviolet light may accelerate the formation of cataracts, so it is critical to protect your eyes from long-term exposure. Wear sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection and a wide-brimmed hat whenever spending long periods of time outdoors.
Avoid Prolonged Use of Corticosteroids
The long-term use of corticosteroid medications is another recognized risk factor for cataracts. If possible, try to avoid using these medications long-term. Be sure to talk with your doctor about the risks of these medications, too.
If you have noticed visual symptoms that may be the result of cataracts, there is no need to worry. The surgery to treat cataracts is very common and very safe. Our eye care professionals would be happy to explain more about the treatment during an in-person consultation. To request an appointment, please contact The 20/20 Institute today.