Cataracts are a common age-related vision problem. They affect more than 22 million Americans and are the most common cause of vision loss in adults over 40. The older a person gets, the greater the risk for developing cataracts.
What are cataracts anyway? Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens making it difficult to see clearly. More than half of all Americans over 65-years-old have some degree of cataracts. They can develop over months, or even years, causing blurred vision and even blindness if left untreated.
People with cataracts usually elect to have them surgically removed when their daily activities are negatively affected by impaired vision. But are there ways to reduce your risk of cataracts in the first place? Cataracts are not completely preventable, but there are things you can do to delay their occurrence.
Protect your eyes from UV rays. Sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection and wide brimmed hats will protect your eyes from ultraviolet light that can accelerate the formation of cataracts.
As most of us know, cigarettes pose serious health risks to our lungs and heart, but did you know cigarettes also affect the health of your eyes? Smoking can increase your risk of developing cataracts.
Like smoking, excess alcohol consumption can also contribute to developing cataracts. Drink alcohol in moderation and your eyes will thank you!
People with diabetes develop cataracts more rapidly than people who maintain a healthy blood sugar. Eat a healthy diet or talk to your doctor if high blood sugar is suspected.
Vitamins and food high in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, selenium, and vitamins C and E may also help reduce your risk of cataracts. Fruits and vegetables containing these vitamins are important for overall good health.
Schedule An Eye Exam
Eye exams are key to maintaining healthy eyes. If you are over the age of sixty you should have a regular eye exam at least once every two years. This will allow your eye doctor to look for signs of cataracts and other vision disorders. It could save your sight!
Dr. Gregg Feinerman is a board certified and fellowship trained ophthalmologist. He is one of the top LASIK eye surgeons in the country, is a cataract surgery specialist, and has performed the most Crystalens surgeries in CA. Dr. Feinerman will determine if you are a candidate for a new revolutionary lens technology, Crystalens, which is an artificial lens implant that not only clears cataracts but gives the patient a fuller range of vision. The lens implant will bend as the eye muscle bends so you will be able to perform daily tasks like reading and sitting at the computer while reducing your dependency on reading glasses.