Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens and one of the leading causes of vision loss in Americans. The normal aging process is to blame for most cataracts; other causes include chronic diseases, certain medications (e.g., steroids) and eye injuries.
Although there is no way to completely avoid age-related cataracts, eye experts believe there are certain things that can delay their development. Below, the team at Bochner Eye Institute shares our best tips to safeguard your eye health and possibly delay the development of cataracts.
Do Not Smoke
Studies have shown that smoking increases the risk of cataracts and other conditions like age-related macular degeneration and dry eye. Quit smoking, or better yet, avoid starting.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet full of nutrients may protect your eye health and lower your risk of cataracts. Choose foods high in antioxidants like beta-carotene, selenium and vitamins C and E. That includes leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, nuts and protein sources like turkey and fish. Lutein and zeaxanthin are also great antioxidants for eye health, and can be found in eggs and yellow or dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.
Schedule Regular Eye Exams
Your eye doctor is trained to identify cataracts in their early stages, before they have caused significant vision loss. By scheduling regular exams, your doctor can detect problems early so they can be properly monitored.
Keep Chronic Health Conditions in Check
People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts than people without diabetes because of uncontrolled blood glucose levels. If you have diabetes, work with your doctor to keep your blood sugar under control, so your eyes stay healthy.
Shade Your Eyes from the Sun
Too much exposure to sunlight could increase the risk of cataracts. Wear sunglasses with UV protection and a brimmed hat when you know you’ll be outdoors for an extended period of time.
Discuss Cataract Surgery with Our Team
If you are experiencing symptoms of cataracts, including clouded or blurry vision, poor night vision, sensitivity to light, halos and frequent changes in eyeglass prescription, our doctors would be happy to discuss your treatment options with you. Please call or email our practice today to schedule an informational consultation.