As the average age in the US rises, preventing cataracts is becoming one of the more urgent conversations eye care providers have with patients.
Many people have a cataract, which is a clouding of the lens in one or both eyes. Cataracts usually start to interfere with vision after age 60. Here are five steps that can keep cataracts benign or even prevent them from forming.
Preventing Cataracts: 5 Health Tips
Eating Right May Be the Best Way for Preventing Cataracts!
It may be surprising to read this, but eye health really depends on a healthy diet.Researchers believe diabetes is a leading cause for cataracts. Diet and weight control are the best ways to avoid type 2 diabetes. You can lower your risk for cataracts and diabetes by replacing sugars and carbs with antioxidant foods with high levels of Vitamin C, such as citrus and strawberries, and Vitamin E, which is in green vegetables and vegetable oils.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two other vitamins thought to help prevent cataracts. You’ll find them in eggs and leafy greens.
Smoking May Cause Cataracts
Researchers say smoking cessation (or not starting at all) is another key step for preventing cataracts.
Tobacco smoke contains free radicals, chemicals that attack healthy cells. Antioxidant foods like the ones discussed above can right them. Avoiding tobacco smoke makes their jobs easier and brings a ton of health benefits as well.
How to Prevent Cataracts and Look Good? Wear Sunglasses
Everyone looks good in sunglasses, from toddlers sporting Hello Kitty or Batman styles to the Matrix look and Hugo Boss for grownups. Pretty much all sunglasses provide some eye protection from the sun’s UV ray, although the best ones have these specs:
- 100% blocking of UVA and UVB rays.
- Block at least 75% of visible light.
- Gray tint, particularly for high-glare activities like driving.
- Are fitted to the face.
We don’t expect every purchase to include that last point (particularly an inexpensive emergency purchase), but it will help with effectiveness and comfort. If you feel good, you’ll look even better!
Moderating Alcohol Use Lowers Cataracts Risk
You may be surprised to know that alcohol is a factor in cataract development. If you’re concerned about how to prevent cataracts and are a happy hour fan, think about cutting back or even better, abstaining now and then, and offering to be a designated driver.
Keeping alcohol intake under two standard-size drinks (12 ounces of beer, a glass of wine, or a shot of liquor straight up or with a mixer) each day reduces the chance for developing cataracts to the same level as total abstinence. There’s no need to give up a glass of wine with dinner or sipping a beer.
Get Regular Eye Exams to Stay Ahead of Cataract Development
Eye health can only be monitored with regular eye exams, at least yearly, and more often if your eye care provider recommends it. People with diabetes and other diseases that affect vision, including rheumatoid arthritis or some kind of eye diseases, generally, see their provider at least once a year.
In addition, people with light-colored eyes are more likely to develop cataracts, as well as ocular melanoma and age-related macular degeneration as they age. The reason is that light-colored eyes have less pigmentation, making them more susceptible to damage from sunrays — just as fair-skinned people are at higher risk for sunburn and even melanoma.
Regardless of eye color, about half of all Americans develop at least one cataract by the age of 80. Taking these five steps can slow cataract development, and with some luck and diligence, prevent it altogether.
If you notice any problems with your sight and eyes, make sure to visit an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Reach out to Diamond Vision to schedule an appointment. Let us help you see clearly again.