Cataracts is one of the most common eye conditions in the United States. They are also the leading cause of vision loss. When your optometrist says you have cataracts, it means that the lens of your eye has become foggy. This can greatly reduce your general ability to see clearly, especially at night.
Cataracts usually develop over time, and older people are at a higher risk of getting them. Unfortunately, there is no sure way to prevent cataracts, but you can lower your risk of developing them or prevent them from worsening.
To lower your risk of getting cataracts, know your risk factors. While age is the biggest risk factor, your gender, race, lifestyle habits, and health issues such as diabetes can also put you at risk.
Age – Cataracts are more likely to develop as you age
Race – White people are more likely to develop cataracts than black people or Hispanics
Gender – Women are at a higher risk of developing cataracts compared to men
Lifestyle habits – Poor lifestyle habits such as smoking, taking excess alcohol, and too much exposure to the sun affects your risk of developing cataracts
Health issues – Diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure can cause secondary eye illnesses like cataracts
To prevent cataracts from becoming worse, here are a few things you can do.
Visiting your eye doctor regularly will help you track the progress of your treatment and the status of the illness. This way, you can continue learning how to control cataracts and reduce your chances of getting other eye illnesses.
Studies show that eating foods rich in vitamins C and E can help slow the growth of cataracts. Vitamins give your body good chemicals (antioxidants) that help keep the harmful chemicals at bay.
For vitamin C, turn to oranges, limes, grapefruits, tomato juice and tomatoes, kiwi fruit, broccoli, green and red peppers, brussels sprouts, potatoes, strawberries, and cantaloupe. Good sources for vitamin E include almonds, broccoli, spinach, vegetable oils like safflower, wheat germ or sunflower, and many more.
Spending too much time in the sun without the protection of sunglasses can make cataracts worse. When it is hot and sunny and you must be outdoors, remember to wear your sunglasses. This will help limit the UV light that enters your eye.
Studies show that smoking doubles your risk of getting cataracts, and the more you smoke, the more the condition will continue to grow.
Like smoking, drinking too much alcohol can increase your chances of getting cataracts or worsening the illness if you already have it.
Research shows that people with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts. That is why it is important to maintain a healthy level of blood sugar.
Steroid eye drops can help treat eye arthritis and dry eye, but they can also accelerate the progression of cataracts.
To learn more about how you can prevent cataracts from worsening, contact Lifetime Vision and Eye Care at our office in Miami Gardens, Florida. You can call us at (305) 902-3320 today to inquire further or to schedule an appointment.