Preventing the Onset of Cataracts

Cataracts can cloud your eyes making it seem like you are constantly looking through a foggy window.  Having clouded vision due to cataracts can make it difficult to do every day activities such as driving and reading. Cataracts tend to develop slowly and do not affect eyesight right away but over time, it will interfere with your vision. This is why preventing cataracts is critical.

There have not been specific studies proving that cataracts can be prevented or that you can slow the progression of them.  Some doctors agree that there are strategies that may be helpful though.  These strategies of preventing cataracts include:

  • Get your eyes examined regularly

During an eye exam, cataracts and other eye problems can be detected early on.  Your doctor will be able to tell you how often you should have an exam.

  • Quit smoking

Smoking may increase your chances of developing cataracts so try to stop if you are a smoker.  Your doctor may suggest medications, counseling, or other strategies to help you stop smoking.

  • Manage other Health Problems

If you suffer from diabetes or other medical conditions that are precursors to cataracts, make sure you are following your treatment plan.

  • Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables

You want to make sure your body is getting all of the vitamins and nutrients that it requires.  Make sure to choose fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors.  The antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables help to maintain healthy eyes and are effective in preventing cataracts.

Though there is no proof that pills with antioxidants will prevent cataracts, a study has shown that a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is associated with a reduced risk of developing them.  Because fruits and vegetables have proven health benefits already, it is a good and safe way to increase your vitamin and mineral intake.

  • Wear Sunglasses

Cataracts can develop if you get too much Ultraviolet light from the sun.  Make sure you have sunglasses that block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays when you are spending time outside.

  • Reduce alcohol intake

Drinking alcohol to excess can increase the risk of developing cataracts.

If you discover that you have cataracts and they are in the early stages, there are some things you can do to lessen the effects until you decide to have surgery.

  • Visit your optometrist regularly to ensure that your eyeglasses are an accurate prescription.
  • If you are having difficulty reading, use a magnifying glass to see smaller text.
  • Make sure your home is brightly lit.
  • When you spend time outdoors, wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to reduce any glare from the sun.
  • Try not to drive at night when you don’t have to.

Following the above suggestions may help for a period of time.  As the cataract progresses your vision will continue to get worse.  If your vision is deteriorating and day to day activities are becoming too difficult, it may be time to contact your doctor and discuss surgery.

In the meantime, while you are waiting for surgery, Options in Home Care can provide home care services to assist in getting you to and from appointments across Los Angeles and San Bernardino County.  If you need help with any of your daily routine activities, they will be able to assist you until you are able to have your surgery and gain your eyesight back to resume your regular tasks.

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