Cataracts are one of the most common causes of blindness. For now, there are no certain ways to prevent cataracts except surgery. However, adopting some lifestyle modifications may reduce your chances of developing cataracts.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 24th May 2022.
Find Out 6 Effective Ways To Prevent Cataracts
Cataracts are the clouding of the lens of your eye, which is normally clear. Most cataracts develop slowly over time, causing symptoms such as blurry vision. Cataracts can be surgically removed through an outpatient procedure that restores vision in nearly everyone.
You can’t change your age or your family’s history, but you can alter your nutrition.
According to some studies, meals rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, may help prevent cataracts. It may help to halt the progression of cataracts if you already have them.
Vitamin C may be found in the following foods:
- Citrus fruit (oranges, grapefruit, limes, etc.)
- Tomato juice with tomatoes
- Peppers, both red and green
- Brussels sprouts (Brussels sprouts)
Vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, and wheat germ are good sources of vitamin E. Almonds, in particular, are an excellent source of vitamin E. Peanuts are, too. Green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are also high in antioxidants. Extra vitamin E may be found in a variety of foods, including your favourite morning cereal. To be sure, double-check the information on the packaging.
You may not be familiar with the terms lutein and zeaxanthin. These are two additional vitamins that may help prevent cataracts in your eyes. Green, leafy vegetables, as well as eggs, contain them.
Make it a point to consume fruits and vegetables daily. More than 100 milligrammes of vitamin C and 5 to 6 milligrammes of lutein and zeaxanthin may be found in five servings. 8 to 14 milligrammes of vitamin E may be found in only two servings of almonds. If you’re having trouble incorporating all of this into your routine, try taking multivitamins or supplements. However, always consult your doctor first.
You already know that smoking is harmful to your heart and lungs, but it’s also bad for your eyes. Smoking is a risk factor for cataracts that you can manage.
In your eyes, smoking produces more free radicals. These are cell-damaging compounds. Antioxidants, which are all the beneficial compounds found in fruits and vegetables, combat the harmful ones. However, smoking destroys the beneficial compounds. It also generates a large number of poisons that may lead to cataracts.
Even if you’ve smoked a lot of cigarettes over a lengthy period, quitting smoking may help avoid cataracts. Consult your doctor about programmes and medicines that may assist you in quitting smoking.
Don’t start smoking as it is one of the best ways to prevent cataracts.
Sunglasses may enhance your appearance. They may also reduce your chances of developing cataracts.
UV radiation has been shown to induce changes in your eyes by science. Researchers have discovered that UV radiation affects the proteins in your lens.
There are several styles of sunglasses available that both look nice and protect your eyes. When purchasing sunglasses, look for those that:
- UVA and UVB radiation are blocked 99% to 100%.
- Visible light is filtered out to a degree of 75% to 90%.
- Choose a frame that is close to your eyes and fits your facial shape.
- Have a grey tinge to them, which helps during driving.
You don’t have to forego your evening glass of wine. However, there is some evidence that excessive alcohol use increases the risk of cataracts.
According to studies, if you drink less than two standard-size drinks each day, your chances of developing cataracts are lower than if you never drink. However, studies indicate that consuming more than two drinks each day increases those chances.
Keep Blood Sugar in Check
If you have diabetes, you understand how critical it is to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Did you know, however, a good blood sugar level can be one of the ways to prevent cataracts? This is because people with diabetes are more prone than non-diabetics to acquire the disease.
If your blood sugar remains too high for too long, your lens expands. Blood sugar is converted to sorbitol by your lens. When this material accumulates in your eye’s lens, your vision becomes blurry, and a cataract may develop.
Get Regular Eye Exams
Early detection of issues by your eye doctor is possible. If you’re between the ages of 40 and 64, you should get your eyes examined every 2 to 4 years. (Your eye doctor will dilate your pupils as part of a “complete" checkup.)
If you’re above 65, you should get a physical checkup every one to two years.
If your risk of developing certain eye illnesses is high, your eye doctor may want to examine you more often.
- PreventBlindness.org: “Cataract.”
- American Optometric Association: “Nutrition and Cataracts.”
- National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin C,” Fact Sheet for Professionals
- American Optometric Association: “Lutein & Zeaxanthin.”
- CDC: “Vision Loss, Blindness and Smoking.”
- JAMA Ophthalmology: “Smoking Cessation and the Risk of Cataract.”
- National Cancer Institute: “Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention.”
- American Optometric Association: “Research Shines Light on the UV-Cataract Connection.”
- American Optometric Association: “Do Your Sunglasses Really Protect Your Eyes from the Sun?”
- Harvard Health Publications: “What to do about cataract.”
- Optometry and Vision Science: “Different amounts of alcohol consumption and cataract: a meta-analysis.”
- National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: “What is a Standard Drink?”
- American Academy of Ophthalmology: “Diabetes and Cataracts.”
- PreventBlindness.org: “How Often Should I Have An Eye Exam?”