4 Ways to Prevent Cataracts at Any Age
As with every other part of the body, eyes deteriorate with age. However, we tend to take them for granted and may not notice that our sight is gradually getting weaker. For people over the age of 40, the most common cause of loss of vision is cataracts. (Cataracts are a condition of the eyes where the lens becomes clouded.) And, unfortunately, there are more cases of cataracts than macular degeneration, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy, according to “Prevent Blindness America”.
Speaking of prevention, would you like to know some steps you can take to help prevent cataracts forming on your lenses? Well, no matter how old you are, there are little alterations you can make in your routine that can slow the development of this eye-dimming condition. Why wait until your vision starts to get dim? Your eyes are a valuable gift that need protection. And, they’re worth a little attention, don’t you think? So, here are a few suggested steps anyone can take toward maintaining healthy eyes
1. Moderation is Key
We all know that smoking is not good for your health or the health of those around you. Smoking presents a variety of risks. Furthermore, cigarettes can also be detrimental to the health of your eyes. According to Vivek Jain, MD who is a doctor at Beach Eye Care at Virginia Beach, VA, “Research suggests that smoking increases your chances of developing cataracts.” Therefore, if possible, try to cut back on the number of cigarettes that you smoke every day. Of course, quitting is the best step you can take, but, at the least, being aware of how many you are smoking could help, if you’re willing to trim down that number little by little.
For any of us, chilling out after a long, hard work-week is a requirement. And, a lot of us like to meet up for drinks with friends. In moderation, this isn’t such a bad thing. However, excessive alcohol consumption is not good for the health, as we all know and, in fact can increase the risk of developing cataracts. So, keep your eye health in mind when relaxing at the pub or enjoying a beer. It also helps to chase each drink with water or juice to dilute your blood alcohol content.
2. Have a Well-Rounded Diet
Your diet can actually cause diabetes or control it if you are already diabetic. Keeping your blood sugar balanced is of the utmost importance, particularly with diabetic patients. But, now, studies have suggested that patients of diabetes are also at greater risk of having cataracts. This factoid presents another very important reason to control your blood sugar. For the good of your health and for the benefit of your vision, it’s important to try to maintain a healthy diet. This means lots of leafy green vegetables and vitamin supplements to fill in the gaps of missing nutrients when there are not enough of them in your diet. To help ward off cataract development, you’ll need to take in foods that are high in antioxidants, like selenium, beta-carotene, vitamin C and E. Complex carbohydrates, raw organic vegetables, apple-cider vinegar, legumes, and organic protein sources contribute to health and energy, as well as drinking lots of clean water.
3. Protect Your Eyes from the Sun
Even in young people, ultraviolet light can speed up cataract formation. Therefore, it’s vital to protect yourself and your eyes from UV rays as much as possible. Avoid the direct sunlight. Avoid going out in the heat of the day if you live in a warm climate. And, children should be taught to stay in the shade and never look directly at the sun.
Hats can help, especially wide-brimmed hats that shade the eyes and reduce sun exposure to your face. Your sunglasses should have UVA/UVB protection and they should be on your face whenever you’re outdoors and in every season of the year. Eyeconic has hundreds of sunglasses that provide UVA/UVB protection, if you’re looking for shades. Whether you’re driving or walking or taking the transit, sunglasses should be a part of your fashion statement.
4. Have Regular Check-ups with the Eye Doctor
When’s the last time you visited your eye doctor? If it’s been more than a year, it’s time for you to set up an appointment. That includes those with clear, healthy vision! We should all make that yearly eye exam an important part of our schedule. A full-spectrum eye exam will include checking for macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and every other mal condition of the eyes. An early detection is valuable to prevent these types of conditions and to save your sight. Why not make it a New Year’s resolution to schedule a visit? And, also to take better care of your precious gift –your eyesight!
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