Although cataracts are easily treated, it would be preferable not to get them in the first place! You may be wondering — is there a way to prevent cataracts?
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are “clouding” of the eye. They can make it seem like you are looking through a fogged up window, and they can make it difficult to read, drive, and all of the other things you do throughout your day. For most people, cataracts develop slowly, and they may only affect a small part of the eye at first. However, over time, the cataracts will get worse and start to affect your eyesight.
What Causes Cataracts?
Cataracts can be caused by eye conditions, health problems, or genetics, but they are also often just a part of aging. The proteins and fibers within the eye start to break down as we age, and this material clumps together and clouds the lens of the eye. Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy way to prevent cataracts. However, there are some things you can do to slow the progression of cataracts:
- Wear sunglasses. Excessive exposure to sunlight can contribute to cataract development.
- Quit smoking. Studies have shown that smokers are two to three times more likely to develop cataracts.
- Manage health problems. Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health issues can affect the health of your eyes.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is important for eye health. Eat foods high in vitamin C, such as tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and potatoes. Vitamin E is also important, which can be found in peanuts, almonds, and green veggies.
- Limit your alcohol. Research shows that drinking more than two alcoholic drinks per day raises your odds of having cataracts.
- See your eye doctor. Get a complete eye exam at least every 2 years (or more if your eye doctor suggests it). Your eye doctor will be able to spot problems such as cataracts early.
If you think you might have cataracts, or if it’s just time for an exam, contact the Eye Care Institute in Santa Rosa for an appointment. Call (707) 546-9800 today!