Although cataracts are often associated with older adults, they can form at any age. Cataracts are a build-up of protein on the lens of an eye, and they can seriously affect your eye health. They can blur and distort your vision and can eventually lead to total vision loss. Some contributing factors related to cataract development are uncontrollable, such as genetics and age; however, you can take a few preventative measures. Here are a few practical ways that can help prevent cataracts from developing.
Monitor Your Eye Health
Although you might be taking thorough measures to look after your vision, cataracts can still develop. Statistics show that around half of all Americans develop cataracts by the age of 75, and they affect more than 24.4 million U.S citizens aged 40 and over. This is why it is important to go for a regular eye examination to monitor your vision. Although visiting your optician won’t stop cataracts from forming, it can inform you on how much they have developed. Opticians and optometrists can also give you sound advice on how to manage existing cataracts.
If you have already begun developing cataracts, only you can decide to surgically remove them. Cataracts do not usually affect a person’s vision until much later in life. However, people who experience visual problems that disrupt their everyday lives may want to permanently remove them. The procedure can involve making an incision on the eye, removing the affected lens, and then replacing it with an artificial lens. A cataract lens implant is one of the most common procedures in the United States, and it usually takes less than an hour. Complete recovery time takes up to 6 weeks, but vision is usually restored within a few hours. Considering the fact that cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness, the recovery time means very little.
A healthy diet filled with nutritious food is great for the mind, body, and eyes. Foods that are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals are ideal for keeping eyes healthy, and incorporating lots of fruit and vegetables into your diet can decrease the risk of cataract development. In particular, foods that are high in vitamins C and E can stop cataracts from forming and slow the growth of existing cataracts. Citrus fruits, potatoes, and broccoli are all good sources of vitamin C. For a healthy dose of vitamin E, try to eat more green vegetables and nuts.
Manage Health Conditions
Some health conditions can increase the risk of developing cataracts. These include chronic health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Implementing a healthy lifestyle can reduce obesity while controlling blood sugar can decrease glucose levels in people with diabetes. People who have high blood pressure should take prescribed medicine and check their blood pressure regularly. By monitoring your blood pressure, you will be aware of abnormalities as soon as they occur. You can then inform your physician immediately so that they can advise accordingly.