5 ways to reduce risk factors for cataracts
- Posted on: Mar 15 2020
More than half of all Americans over the age of 60 will have a cataract. While it’s a painless clouding of the eye’s natural lens, it can worsen over time and interfere with reading, driving and other daily activities. Although cataracts can’t be prevented, you can take steps to reduce your risk factors and delay them from forming, including:
Eat a diet rich in antioxidants. Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables will help you in so many ways, including reducing your risk of developing cataracts.
Avoid smoking and excessive drinking. Smoking is associated with a higher risk of developing cataracts. Your doctor can help you find medications, programs and other ways to help you quit. Studies also show that people who consume more than two drinks per day have a higher risk of cataracts than those who consume less or do not drink alcohol.
Protect your eyes from the sun. Wearing wide-brimmed hats to block sunlight, which also protects your skin from damaging rays. Wear sunglasses that block 99-100% of ultraviolet A and B rays. You also should wear them when it’s overcast as the sun’s damaging rays can penetrate through clouds.
Manage all health concerns. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, you are at higher risk for developing cataracts. If you don’t have control over your glucose levels, the sugar levels can rise and cause the lens to swell and damage the eye. People who have diabetes are also more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age than people without diabetes.
See your eye doctor for regular eye exams. Comprehensive eye exams every 1-2 years, depending on your age, risk factors and whether you wear glasses or contacts already are important to maintaining eye health and catching any eye condition or disease early on when it’s most treatable.
Other risk factors for developing a cataract include having a family history of cataracts, high blood pressure, obesity, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications and having a previous eye injury or surgery.
If cataracts are left untreated, they can cause serious visual impairment. It’s important to stay on top of your eye health with regular eye exams and seeing your eye doctor when you notice changes in your vision. To schedule an eye exam, contact our Everett office at (425) 259-2020.
Posted in: Cataract