8 Helpful Tips for Keeping Your Eyes Cataract Free
As the average person ages, cataracts become unavoidable. This eye disease is one of the most prevalent among the elderly. People may notice clouding or deteriorating eyesight which may require surgery as the disease progresses.
Laser eye surgery is a trusted cure for cataracts, and at Clearview Vision Institute, we provide services to patients across Toronto for various eye-related issues, including cataracts.
However, we believe that there are some measures people can take to help prevent the progression of cataracts and, as a result, the necessity for surgery. For this reason, we have put together a list of practical tips to help you keep your eyes cataract free.
How do you know you have cataracts?
Before we address these tips, you need to know what having cataracts could mean for you.
Some symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, sensitivity to light, double vision, streaks and halos, and frequent eye prescription changes, among others.
Cataracts typically worsen with time and can cause discomfort in one or both eyes, making it difficult for you to do the things you love with your vision. You can keep your eyes free from cataracts by making lifestyle-changing decisions to ensure that you avoid this disease for as long as possible.
Below are eight practical tips to keep your eyes cataract free.
1. Change your eating habits
Cataract risk may be reduced if you consume a nutritious diet regularly, so your eating habits are essential to ensuring that your eyes are free of cataracts.
Antioxidant foods like fruits and vegetables, Vitamin E foods like peanuts and whole grains, and other minerals are all part of a healthy diet.
Lutein and zeaxanthin, found in eggs and green, leafy vegetables, are two more vitamins that may help protect your eyes from cataracts.
When you improve your eating habits, you are guaranteed healthy eyes. However, if you have trouble incorporating these vitamins and minerals into your diet, you could consider taking food supplements and multivitamins with a doctor’s prescription.
2. Ensure proper hydration
Keeping your eyes hydrated is critical to maintaining your eyesight and avoiding cataracts. Eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision are signs that your eyes are dehydrated, and if you have continuous dehydration, you’re more likely to develop cataracts sooner.
Every part of the human body, including the eyes, requires water to function properly. Drink six to eight glasses of water daily.
3. Quit smoking
Smoking increases the risk of cataracts because smoking produces more free radicals in the eyes.
These free radicals are cell-damaging chemicals that speed up cataract formation, which is why it is advisable to quit smoking, and if you do not already, don’t start at all.
There are numerous health benefits to quitting smoking, including healthy lungs, a healthy heart, and healthy eyes. Even if you have smoked a lot of tobacco or cigarettes over a lengthy period, ceasing smoking may help you avoid cataracts.
4. Monitor your blood sugar levels
If you have not been monitoring your blood sugar levels, it is a habit you should develop to keep your eyes free from cataracts because high blood sugar levels can cause the disease.
When your blood sugars are elevated, it exposes you to diabetic retinopathy, a potentially sight-threatening ailment in which new blood vessels grow on the light-sensitive retina.
These new blood vessels leak fluid and blood, causing retinal edema and hemorrhages. Cataracts are more likely to develop in people with diabetes and poor blood sugar control.
As a result, keeping track of your blood sugar levels should be a top concern if you want to keep your blood sugar under control and minimize cataract formation.
5. Reduce your alcohol intake
People who consume alcohol heavily are prone to developing cataracts. When you moderate your alcohol intake, you reduce the risk of getting this disease.
A glass of wine or two is acceptable, and if you limit your alcohol intake to two standard drinks, you can keep your eyes cataracts free.
6. Avoid steroids if they are not necessary.
While steroids can provide significant health benefits, it’s necessary to be aware of the link between steroids and cataract risk, especially if these drugs are used indiscriminately.
To avoid risk, take steroids only when necessary, after consulting a doctor, and under strict medical supervision is advisable.
7. Protect your eyes with sunglasses
Sunglasses shield your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can increase the risk of cataracts.
It is important to ensure that your sunglasses block 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation, have a gray tint, especially for glare-prone tasks such as driving, block out 75 to 90 percent of visible light waves, and fit your face perfectly.
Sunglasses provide comfort and effectively ensure that the proteins in your eyes are not damaged. You can avoid cataracts if you protect your vision from UV exposure.
8. Pay regular visits to your eye doctor.
You can only monitor your eyesight when you consult your doctor and take eye exams regularly.
These checkups at regular intervals allow you to stay ahead of the development of cataracts and help you get an early diagnosis of any eyesight disorders to manage your eye health better.
Once you are forty years of age, you should see your doctor every one to two years for a complete eye exam, even if you have no symptoms. This way, you can minimize the risk of cataracts because you will be on the lookout.
What if you develop cataracts anyway?
As you make lifestyle changes, these helpful guidelines will help keep cataracts at bay for as long as possible. However, if you begin to develop symptoms, you should contact your eye doctor for diagnosis and possible laser cataract surgery at Clearview Vision Institute.