Cataracts, a common eye condition that’s typically caused by aging, can lead to vision loss and in some cases, blindness. A cataract is a clump of proteins that develops in the lens of the eye. Early symptoms include clouded vision, difficulty seeing at night and seeing halos, among others. While there are treatments available, there are also a few things you can do to reduce your risk of developing them in the first place. Here are five health habits that can protect your eyes from developing cataracts.
Quit Smoking Smoking has many health risks, but an underreported one is the effect it can have on your vision. Smoking can cause a number of eye problems, and appears to be a factor in the development of cataracts, with heavy smokers being three times more likely to get them than non-smokers. Wear Sunglasses Ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage your eyes, so it’s important to wear proper protection when outside. Choose tinted sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays, and wear a wide-brimmed hat on sunny days to shield your eyes. Keep Diabetes under Control Diabetes is linked to higher incidences of cataracts. High blood sugar can cause swelling in the lens of the eye where cataracts develop. If you have diabetes, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar carefully and get your eyes checked annually for potential complications. Limit Your Drinking Studies indicate that heavy drinking may be a factor in the development of cataracts. Doctors recommend that you limit your consumption to two servings of alcohol a day, so a glass of wine or two with dinner is fine. Eat Your Veggies The research on the effects of diet on cataracts is not conclusive, but one study indicates that women whose diets were high in the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin had fewer cataracts. These nutrients can be found in leafy greens such as spinach and kale. Plus, greens have an assortment of other nutrients that may also play a role. At any rate, eating lots of veggies is good for your health, and doing so won't do any harm. Eye Care in Edmonton Early intervention is important in the treatment of eye conditions, which is why doctors recommend you have an eye exam every two years (and every year after the age of 60), regardless of whether or not you wear glasses or contacts. If you’re worried about cataracts, contact Optometrists’ Clinic, Inc. today and we’ll book you an appointment to help ease your concerns.