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Can Cataracts Be Prevented?

Wednesday, March 15th, 2023, 1:15 pm

Portrait of a young woman enjoying a salad at homeFortunately, cataracts are easily treated. But it would be nice if we could do something to prevent them from ever happening in the first place! Is there anything we can do to avoid getting cataracts?

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts develop when proteins and fibers in the eye start to break down, then clump together. This creates a “cloud” over the lens. Your vision may start to look blurry or foggy, and you may notice that you are having problems with glare, such as from oncoming headlights when you drive at night. Cataracts are often just a part of getting older – they are typically found in people who are over the age of 60, although anyone can get them (some babies are even born with them). You may be more at risk to develop them if you have had certain health problems, eye conditions, or a family history of cataracts.

There is no one magic way to prevent cataracts, but there are some things you can do that will help to keep your eyes healthy and reduce your risk of problems:

  • Stop smoking. Smoking produces toxins that can cause cataracts; research has shown that smokers are two to three times more likely to get cataracts.
  • Wear sunglasses. The ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun not only damages your skin – it can also damage your eyes. Choose sunglasses that block out both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Eat right. Foods that are high in antioxidants can help prevent cataracts and can also slow their development. Choose foods that are high in vitamins C and E, such as citrus, tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, peanuts, and spinach.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol. You don’t have to quit drinking completely, but research shows that drinking more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases the odds that you’ll get cataracts.
  • Take care of your health. Managing health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity can help your eyes to stay healthy.

Do you think you may be developing cataracts? Don’t wait – make an appointment with Marion Eye Center and Optical in Illinois at 800-344-7058 or in Missouri at 877-269-4545. Call today!

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Category: Cataract

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