The past few weeks have been dedicated to learning more about cataracts and how cataracts are treated. This time, we’ll turn our focus to how you can prevent cataracts from developing and what steps you can take today to ensure a healthier lifestyle.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure”
We’re all heard some version of these wise words before – that’s because it’s true. Living a healthier life and taking small steps towards prevention can go a long way in avoiding major troubles down the road – the same applies to preventing cataracts.
What exactly causes cataracts?
Cataracts are when the proteins that make up your lenses clump together and cloud your vision. So what clauses the proteins to clump? Nobody knows for certain what causes this to happen, but doctors and researchers around the world have linked some factors to cataracts development:
- Old age
- High blood pressure
- Exposure to UV rays
- Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
- Eye surgery or Eye injury
- High levels of alcohol consumption
- Family history
What can I do to prevent cataracts?
Some of the causes above cannot be controlled, but a majority of them can. It really comes down to living a healthy lifestyle.
Smoking doubles your chance of developing cataracts. So if you are a smoker – it’s time to quit to save yourself from possible blindness.
Exposure to UV rays is another factor you can control. Make sure you have sunglasses that are rated to block at least 98% of UVA and UVB rays – and then never leave home without them. Even if it’s not very sunny outside, your eyes are still exposed to UV rays – even in the winter.
A healthy diet can help you keep your weight and high pressure in check, as well as supply you with cataracts preventing nutrients like Vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin.