Cataracts are common, especially as you get older. More than half of all Americans aged 80 or older have cataracts, but they can develop at any age.
Because cataracts are so common, it’s important to understand what they are, what causes them, and if they can be prevented.
What are cataracts?
A cataract is simply the closing of a normally-clear lens of the eye. For people who suffer from cataracts, it’s like seeing through a frosty or fogged window. Cataracts make it difficult for people to read, watch TV, or drive, especially at night, which can be dangerous.
Cataracts typically develop slowly and won’t affect your vision early on. However, that changes over time. Glasses can help you deal with cataracts in the early stages, but once your vision starts interfering with your daily activities, you may want to consider surgery.
What prevents cataracts?
Most cataract risk factors can be controlled, but unfortunately, cataracts can’t be prevented, especially not by certain foods. Although, we wish it were that easy!
That said, there are still some precautions you can take to lower the risk of getting a cataract, and it all starts with managing your health.
- Wear glasses and sunglasses with UV protection
- Avoid smoking
- Take daily vitamins
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Frequently visit your eye doctor
All of these are essential to your overall health. If you want to manage your eye health and prevent cataracts, a great way to do so is simply by visiting your eye doctor on a routine basis. The earlier a cataract is identified, the sooner we can get it managed and taken care of.
There have been no studies to prove that cataracts can be prevented, but the strategies mentioned above could still be helpful. If you are experiencing sudden vision changes, visit an eye doctor sooner rather than later. You may need to have surgery to correct your lens.