Tips for Preventing Cataracts

June 12, 2024


Understanding cataracts as much as you can is the first step to preventing them. A cataract is the clouding of the lens in the eye that affects a person’s vision. While cataracts are most commonly related to aging, other types of cataracts can impact anybody.

You may think you don’t need to know how to prevent cataracts, but there are daily activities that can cause them. It’s best to be informed so you know how to protect yourself and your eyesight.

What Is a Cataract?

The lens is the clear part of the eye that focuses light or images on the retina. The light then passes through the lens to the retina. However, the image may become blurry when the lens isn’t clear.

A cataract develops when protein in the eye’s lens forms clumps. As these clumps grow larger, light cannot pass through to the retina, making vision blurry.

Keep reading to learn tips for preventing cataracts.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

What you eat can actually keep you from developing cataracts. Be sure to include the following foods in your diet to reduce your risk of cataracts:

  • Leafy green vegetables: Foods such as spinach, kale, turnip greens, and romaine lettuce are high in the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Five servings of fruits and vegetables daily provide your body with antioxidants that can fight cataracts.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: To help prevent cataracts, incorporate fresh, cold-water fish and flaxseed oil into your diet.

Vitamin C

Consuming Vitamin C can slow or reverse the progression of cataracts. Taking a daily supplement can provide you with the daily recommended Vitamin C serving. You can also add foods to your diet that are high in Vitamin C, like broccoli, oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe, papaya, and green peppers.

Eye Protection

It’s important to always protect your eyes from the sun. UV rays can be harmful to your eyes and cause cataracts. Avoid looking directly at the sun; always wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your eyes from UV rays.

You also need to protect your eyes from potential trauma. Being hit in the eyes can cause cataracts to form, so it’s crucial to do all you can to prevent this. During sports and other physical activities, make sure you wear goggles.

Quit Smoking

Smoking can increase the chances that you develop cataracts as you age. If you smoke, quitting can help decrease your chances, as well as improve your overall health. Your provider may be able to help you quit smoking by recommending some strategies or supplements.

Drink Less Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to the development of cataracts over time. Reducing how much you drink is better for your eyes and better for your health overall.

Get Regular Eye Check-Ups

Everyone should get routine eye exams, especially as you get older. Your doctor may notice cloudiness in your eyes or if the lens is becoming blocked by proteins and can monitor the progression. Without monitoring, you may not notice your vision decreasing over time. Regular check-ups allow your doctor to determine the best treatment methods and when it’s best to start.

While there is not one prevention tip that can keep you from developing cataracts, using caution can reduce your risk. Schedule a consultation with an OOMC physician.

Speak to an Eye Doctor About Cataract Prevention and Treatment Today

If you are developing cataracts or have a family history of cataracts and want to learn more about preventing them, schedule an appointment with an OOMC ophthalmologist. Your eye doctor can monitor your eyes for signs of cataracts, discuss your risks of developing them, and help determine treatment options if needed. Contact your local OOMC office to schedule an appointment today.


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