Cataracts are those cloudy areas that tend to form over the lens of your eyes. The lens of your eyes is a curved, clear structure in the front of your eye that helps you focus at a different distance.
Age is one of the major risks of developing cataracts. A report by National Eye Institute shows 50% of Americans aged 80 years or older have cataracts or have had surgery.
Experts predicted that the number of people in the US with cataracts may reach more than 50 million by 2050, and the main reason will be the aging population.
Taking care of eye health can help minimize the risk factors of developing cataracts if you delay when they appear or age more.
In this blog, we will share 6 steps to reduce cataract risks.
Things to do to Prevent Cataracts
You cannot completely prevent cataracts from happening. Your age and genetics may heavily influence your development. However, there are preventive steps you can take to delay or lower the risk of cataract onset.
1. Eye protection from the sun
Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun leads to eye damage, which later results in cataract development. At the microscopic level, UV light induces oxidative damage. When it happens, the damaging molecules known as free radicals may disrupt the proteins in your lens, resulting in them clumping together.
2. Quit smoking
Chemicals present in cigarette smoke may impact your body also, including your eyes, in a negative way. People who smoke have a higher risk of developing cataracts than nonsmokers.
3. Eat balanced diet
Eating a nutritious diet with lots of vegetables and fruits and minimally processed foods may help reduce the risks of developing cataracts.
A balanced diet is one best ways to prevent cataracts, but a moderate to a small dose of a few antioxidants may also be beneficial. Antioxidants are the molecules like vitamin E and vitamin C that can fight free radicals and may harm healthy cells.
4. Protect your Eyes from Injury
Injury to the eyes is another risk factor for cataracts. Proper safety eyewear during sports and other activities may reduce the cataract risk and protect your eyes from injury.
You can help protect your eyes by wearing the following:
- Appropriate safety eyewear while operating industrial equipment, power tools, or even a hammer.
- Safety goggles when around flying debris, using a device that shoots projectiles, or handling chemicals.
- A helmet with a face mask during contact sports
If you suffer from eye injuries, you should contact a doctor immediately. You can get medications at a discount through pharmacy discount card.
5. Try to limit alcohol consumption
Minimizing the consumption of alcohol may help you to reduce the risk of cataract development. Higher lifetime drinking is associated with increased cataract risk, with significant risks occurring at more than 40 drinks per year in women and 90 drinks per year in men.
6. Get regular eye checkups.
Cataracts and other eye diseases may not have noticeable symptoms during the early stages. Thus, regular eye checkups are essential to protect eye health, especially when you get older.
If you catch eye diseases early, it lowers the risk of more serious complications that may affect your vision.
You may not be able to prevent cataracts completely. However, you can take steps to delay the onset or lower the risks of cataracts.
Follow the above preventative steps that may help you reduce the risks of cataracts and protect your overall eye health.
If you are concerned about cataracts, talk with your eye doctor about the other preventative steps that may help you minimize the cataract onset.