What You Need to Know About Preventing Cataracts

You’re never too young or old to get cataracts. They’re a clouding of the eye’s natural lens and can be found in people of all ages, but they’re more common with older adults. Cataracts commonly affect both eyes. You might not know you have a cataract because the symptoms may develop slowly over many years before causing problems with your daily activities, such as driving a car or reading a book. If you notice any new changes in how well you see, tell your doctor right away. In the meantime, here’s what to know about cataracts and how you can prevent them.

Causes of Cataracts

  • High blood pressure
  • Exposure to ultraviolet light over time
  • Diabetic retinopathy (damage to small blood vessels in the retina)
  • Smoking cigarettes for more than ten years
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Blurry vision and blindness
  • Cloudy lenses
  • Eye injury
  • Certain medications (Lithium, steroids)
  • Previous cataract surgery

Symptoms of Cataracts

  • Blurry vision
  • Colors seem faded
  • Glare
  • Objects appear hazier than they did before
  • Difficulty seeing at night even with glasses or contact lenses that used to work just fine for you

How to Prevent Cataracts

Protect your eyes from ultraviolet exposure

  • Avoid direct exposure to sunlight
  • Wear UV blocking lenses
  • Apply sunscreen on the skin around your eyes

Eat a healthy diet

  • Eat foods high in vitamin A
  • Zinc-rich foods such as oysters or cashews can help protect your eyes from cataracts too

You can reduce your chances of developing cataracts by reducing your other risk factors like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking cigarettes for more than ten years. To maintain good eye health, you should have regular checkups by your ophthalmologist so they can monitor changes with your eyesight.

Schedule an Appointment

The best way to keep your eyes healthy and clear is by partnering with an experienced ophthalmologist who can recommend your best options. To get started, contact Eye Care Physicians & Surgeons of New Jersey by calling or filling out our online form.

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