Cataract Prevention

As noted by the Mayo Clinic, the exact causes of cataract development remain unclear.  For this reason, most physicians will emphasize risk reduction rather than prevention per se.  Being proactive about decreasing your risk for cataracts can decrease the chances of developing them at all or delay the onset and severity of symptoms.

Steps You Can Take to Reduce the Risk of Cataracts

  1. Educate yourself about the potential causes so that you can recognize and reduce risk behaviors; also, learn about the signs and symptoms of cataracts to increase the chances of early detection.
  2. Visit your eye care professional regularly.  Your physician can make recommendations about how often you should have appointments depending on your level of risk. These appointments may increase in frequency as you age.
  3. Maintain other areas of your health. Certain diseases, disorders, and conditions – like diabetes and obesity – can contribute directly or indirectly to the development of cataracts.
  4. Avoid sun exposure. When you must spend time outside, bring protective eyewear to block ultraviolet B rays and/or wear a hat with a rim that shades your eyes.
  5. Decrease risk behaviors. Avoid consuming alcohol, smoking, or using steroids – when possible.
  6. Eat a healthy diet.  Although there is no research that directly connects vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants to eye health, there are many other health benefits to making healthy dietary choices (especially adding or increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables), and these benefits influence the overall health of your body.

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