Hello, and welcome back to our blog. This is part two of our blog series about cataracts prevention. As we mentioned in our previous article, unfortunately there’s no way to definitively prevent cataracts. Although there are ways to reduce your chance of contracting the condition, it usually occurs for age-related reasons and occurs in almost half of Americans over the age of 80.
With more than 5,000 chemicals found in cigarettes, there are a whole host of eye-related issues linked to smoking, chief among them are two of the leading causes of vision loss in America: macular degeneration and cataracts. People who smoke heavily have double the risk of developing cataracts. Cataracts begin when the clear, natural lens in your eye begins to turn cloudy with time. According to health specialists, smoking alters the cells in the eye and the lens by the process of oxidation, increasing the rate at which cataracts take effect. Avoiding cigarettes will not only help you prevent eye-related issues, but will also reduce your risk factor for countless other health conditions.
Maintain A Balanced Diet
Studies have found that eating a balanced diet rich in antioxidants and other vitamins can potentially reduce the risk of cataracts. When there is an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in the body, oxidative stress results. Free radicals are oxygen molecules that remove an electron from other molecules in order to self-stabilize. This starts a sort of chain reaction that is known as oxidation. If this occurs in the eye, it can cause a lot of problems, and in the case of cataracts, oxidation in the lens will become damaged and cloudy.
Although we’ve already discussed one thing that can cause oxidation in the eyes, smoking, a diet low in antioxidants, as well as exposure to chemicals or pollution can also lead to oxidation. A diet with lots of fruits and vegetables will help to prevent cataracts. However, it should be noted that some free radicals result from regular metabolism, so always plan to eat healthy and seek regular eye appointments.
Protect Your Eyes From The Sun
Although the sun doesn’t necessarily directly cause cataracts, it can certainly contribute to them. Ultraviolet rays (UV rays) in addition to high-energy visible (HEV) radiation or “blue light” can increase your long-term risk for cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye-related issues. The sun can also contribute to the general aging of your eyes, which can increase your risk of cataracts. Whenever you go out in the sun, be sure to wear UV-blocking sunglasses.
Are you concerned that you may be developing cataracts? You’re not alone! Millions of Americans seek treatment for cataracts every year. If you give us a call, we’ll set up an appointment with you to discuss what problems you’re having. We offer both laser cataract surgery and traditional cataract surgery for those who choose that route. Speak with us today to learn more.