How to Prevent Cataracts
Cataracts are an extremely common age-related eye condition that can significantly affect your vision. They can affect your quality of life by causing blurry vision, making colors look duller, and affecting your ability to enjoy daily activities. By age 75, more than 50% of Americans have cataracts. While there is no definitive way to prevent cataracts, you can take steps to reduce your risk.
What are Cataracts?
Cataracts form when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. This most commonly occurs due to age-related changes, but can also be caused by trauma, medications, diabetes and genetic conditions, leading to blurry vision and difficulty seeing clearly. Depending on pre-existing conditions, age, refractive error, and lifestyle, cataracts can develop slowly or rapidly.
Your eye’s natural lens is usually clear, allowing light to pass through and focus on the retina. As you age, proteins in the lens begin to clump together, causing cloudiness. These protein deposits are what cause cataracts. They interfere with the passage of light or cause the light to scatter instead of focusing, resulting in impaired vision that is not correctable with glasses and/or contacts.
How to Prevent Cataracts
There is no guaranteed way to stop your eye from aging and developing cataracts. Fortunately, you can take some steps that will reduce your risk and maintain good eye health.
- Protect your eyes from excessive sun exposure by wearing sunglasses that block out UV rays. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can provide even more protection.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that includes foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support overall good health.
- Stay physically active to maintain healthy circulation to the eyes and support your cardiovascular system.
- If you smoke, quitting immediately will lower your cataract risk. If you already have cataracts, smoking can make them worse.
- Get regular eye exams so your eye doctor can detect and monitor early stages of cataracts and other eye conditions.
These preventive measures to prioritize your eye health will reduce your risk of developing cataracts early. However, you cannot control all your risk factors, especially genetics, and cataracts will eventually occur in all people, even those who lead healthy lifestyles.
How are Cataracts Treated?
In the majority of cases, surgery is the conclusive approach for treating cataracts. By removing the hazy natural lens and substituting it with a clear artificial intraocular lens (IOL) implant, cataract surgery aims to restore visual clarity. As an 20-30 minute outpatient procedure, a tiny incision is made in the eye during the operation, allowing the surgeon to fragment and extract the cloudy lens using specialized equipment. The artificial IOL is implanted once the cataract is removed, providing patients with clearer vision 2-5 days after surgery.
Request a Consultation
We’d love to help you get all the information you need in order to make the best choice for your eyes. Request a consultation today! Our staff is available and happy to answer your every question.
What Results Will I See After Cataract Treatment?
After undergoing cataract surgery, you can expect to see improvements in your vision. Many patients experience clearer and sharper vision a few days after surgery. Colors may appear more vibrant, and objects will look sharper and more defined.
While cataract surgery is a highly effective and safe way to improve your vision, you should have realistic expectations. Some people might still require glasses for certain activities, such as reading or driving at night.
Take the Next Step
Want to know more about cataracts? Please fill out the form on this page or call (949) 694-0554 to schedule your appointment.
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