Twenty-five million people in the U.S. have cataracts. Given the prevalence of cataract among the aging population in America, it’s understandable why many individuals are seeking a way to prevent them. Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent cataracts. However, there are certain ways you can adjust your lifestyle to reduce your risk of developing this condition.
If you already have cataracts, all is not lost. Here at Round Rock Eye Consultants, we are experts in cataract surgery and are able to restore vision through an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). If you have any questions about this procedure, feel free to reach out to us.
While you can’t prevent cataracts outright, the following lifestyle choices have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing cataracts.
Prioritizing a Healthy Diet
Like all the organs in your body, your eyes benefit when you prioritize nutrition. In particular, a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and omega-3s can be helpful in lowering the risk of developing cataracts. This is because these nutrients are particularly important for eye health.
Some foods that include these powerful properties include:
- Oranges and other citrus fruits (lemons, limes, tangerines, etc.)
- Bell peppers (red and green)
- Green veggies (asparagus, kale, broccoli, spinach, etc.)
- Brussel sprouts
Incorporating these healthy foods into your diet can be a powerful way to reduce your risk of cataracts.
It’s well-established that smoking cigarettes has a major impact on your health in general, including increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. However, many people don’t realize that smoking is also detrimental to your eye health. Research has shown that smoking tobacco increases the risk of many different eye conditions, including cataracts, as well as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. In fact, smokers may have up to three times the risk of developing cataracts than nonsmokers. If you are a smoker who is concerned about developing cataracts, the most powerful lifestyle choice you can make right now is to quit smoking.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, you will want to spend more time in the sun. However, the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to the lens of the eye. This in turn escalates the process of developing cataracts. You can help your eyes significantly by wearing sunglasses. The key is to invest in a pair that blocks out 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays.
Drink in Moderation
While drinking a glass of red wine with dinner has some health benefits, keep it to one drink a day. Research shows that individuals who consume one drink a day actually have a lower risk of developing cataracts than people who never drink. That being said, people who consume more than two drinks a day are at higher risk of developing cataracts. Therefore, keep your alcohol consumption in moderation.
At Round Rock Eye Consultants, we are happy to provide as much information as we can to keep our patients informed about their eye health. If you do develop cataracts, we are here for you to offer early intervention. Contact us today to schedule your cataract surgery in Round Rock.