Did you know that cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States, and it is the leading cause of blindness in the world. There are 24 million Americans over the age of 40 who are affected by cataracts, which is more than those affected by glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy combined. No matter what your age, there are simple things you can do to help slow the development or prevent cataracts but don't wait until your vision becomes affected to take action. Here are some tips you can start today to benefit your future.
1. VISIT YOUR EYE DOCTOR REGULARLY
Scheduling yearly eye exams is crucial even if your vision is clear and healthy. Make it a priority to routinely see your eye care professional to look for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other vision disorders. Early detection may actually save your sight!
2. EAT A NUTRIENT RICH DIET
Leafy greens hold the most nutrients that can overall keep your body healthy. Vitamin supplements can also give our body a boost of the nutrients we are lacking but always consult with your doctor what you should be taking. Eating foods high in antioxidants of beta-carotene, selenium and vitamins C and E may also help in prevention.
Those with diabetes are at greater risk for developing cataracts and maintaining healthy blood sugar is important for your vision and overall health.
3. PROTECT YOUR EYES FROM THE SUN
Protect yourself from UV rays and your eyes will thank you. Ultraviolet light can hasten the formation of cataracts.
To reduce exposure, wear a wide brimmed hat when spending time outdoors and always keep sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection close at hand in any season.
Research suggests that smoking doubles your chances of developing cataracts and the risk continues to grow based on how much your smoke.
5. LIMIT ALCOHOL CONSUMPRION
Like cigarettes, excess alcohol consumption can pose a number of health risks, including an increased chance of developing cataracts.
Information compiled from Vision Source Signature Eye Care and VSP