Posted on: 26 June 2015Share
Cataracts are common, but the incidence of the disease continues to rise. In fact, a study conducted in 2010 projects that by 2050, the number of cataract sufferers in the United States will have doubled from 24.4 million to almost 50 million. Here are five ways to help protect your eyes from cataracts:
Get Your Vitamins
Vitamins are important to the health of your eyes. Research indicates that vitamins C and E may help you avoid cataract development and progression. Two other antioxidants, lutein and zeaxathin, are also associated with cataract protection.
You can obtain the benefit of most antioxidants by eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables. However, if your diet is inconsistent, it is best to use a dietary supplement, such as a multivitamin. People who used vitamin C and E supplements for over ten years saw less progression in their cataracts.
Cigarette smoking is associated with many different ailments. It is not surprising that it affects the health of your eyes too. Smoking actually doubles your risk of developing cataracts.
Chain smokers are at greatest risk. The incidence of cataracts increases as you smoke more. If you are a smoker, look for ways to gradually decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke.
UV light speeds up the development of cataracts. However, protecting your eyes during outdoor activities is easy. Many sunglasses now have lenses that offer ultraviolet (UV) radiation protection. Whenever you enjoy time in the sun, make sure you wear your sunglasses.
Visit Your Ophthalmologist
During routine visits to your eye doctor, he or she will check your eyes for cataracts and discuss preventive measures. Early detection of the disease can help you avoid cataract surgery.
If you are diagnosed with cataracts, your doctor may prescribe medication that dilates the pupil of the eye. However, the medication only increases the light received by your eye; it cannot cure cataracts.
Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Studies show that people with diabetes have an increased risk of cataract development. To lessen your chances of developing diabetes, keep your blood sugar at a healthy level by exercising and avoiding simple carbohydrates. Behavioral changes can reduce your risk of developing both diseases.
There is no fail-safe approach to guarantee that you will never get cataracts. However, there are ways to decrease the risk factors associated with the disease. If you are concerned about developing cataracts, call your ophthalmologist today to schedule an appointment. To contact a local opthalmologist, go to http://www.drgrantmdretinalspecialist.com or do an online search.