Cataract occurs when your eye lens turns cloudy and impairs your eyesight by blocking some or all of your vision. Once contracted, there are no known ways of reversing the effects of cataracts. Although cataract is usually caused by aging, there are some tips available that can help you to possibly prevent this disease.
1) Book regular eye exams
Early detection of symptoms of cataracts can save your eyesight. If you are over sixty years of age, it is recommended that you seek regular eye examinations ideally once every two years. This will allow your eye care specialist to detect eye diseases caused by aging, including cataracts.
2) Protect your eyes from UV rays
It has been medically proven that exposure to sunlight can cause cataracts to form at a much younger age. Studies have also shown a trend in cataracts among people who live in tropical countries near the equator and those working outside under the hot sun. So use a pair of ultraviolet protective sunglasses or even a hat. Not only will the latter prevent ultraviolet exposure to your eyes, but it will also decrease your chances of contracting skin cancer around your eyes.
3) Stop smoking
Yes, you can add cataracts to an already long list of diseases caused by smoking. Smoking more than one pack a day can increase your risk for cataracts by a whopping 205%. Basically, smoking produces a high amount of oxidative stress and free radicals that damage the lens as well as membranes of the eyes. Although cataracts usually happen over a person’s lifetime, a smoker may experience the symptoms of cataracts as suddenly as over a span of a few months. So if you are a smoker, stop smoking. It is the best way to prevent cataracts.
4) Increase your intake of Vitamin E
Studies have shown that women who supplemented their diet with Vitamin E for at least 10 years have shown considerably slower progression of cataracts development. This is possibly due to Vitamin E protecting the lens from free radicals. Besides taking in Vitamin E supplements, you may also consume foods that are good sources of Vitamin E. Examples are peanut butter, spinach, mustard greens, sunflower seeds and almonds.
5) Increase your intake of antioxidants
Besides increasing your intake of Vitamin E, medical professionals also recommend that you consume more antioxidants to increase your chances of being cataract-free. Foods that are high in antioxidants include green, leafy vegetables, fruits and whole grains. An experiment carried out showed women who ate the most vegetables and fruits reduced their risks of cataracts by up to 15%. Although 15% might not sound like much, a 10% reduction in the rate of cataract development could reduce the number of cataract operations by up to 49%.
Although these tips may significantly reduce your risks of developing cataracts, they do not guarantee absolute prevention of cataracts. But it is recommended that you adopt these tips so that you are doing everything you possibly can to slow the rate of cataract development.