Over 24.4 million people in the U.S. above 40 have cataracts, with a large portion of the remaining population expected to get them before age 75. There are three primary types of cataracts, including nuclear, cortical, and posterior capsular.
To diagnose cataracts, your eye doctor will conduct a thorough eye exam. They’ll review your medical history and lifestyle, eyes’ ability to direct light, retina, and cumulative eye pressure for any signs of this eye disease.
While there are many ways to identify cataracts, you might be wondering, ‘Is cataract prevention possible?’ Let’s find out.
What causes cataracts?
Before you can understand how to prevent cataracts in the eyes naturally, it’s important to know what causes cataracts. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), these items can increase your chances of getting cataracts:
- Getting older
- Diabetes mellitus
- Subjection to ultraviolet (UV) light without UV-blocking sunglasses
- A diet lacking antioxidants
Cataracts can also be genetic or come after other eye diseases and problems, including glaucoma. Both of these conditions can influence your eyesight, eventually leading to a complete loss of vision.
Symptoms such as clouded vision, an impaired ability to identify colors, and heightened light sensitivity are common with cataracts. Another possible sign of cataracts is if you need a new prescription when you come in for your regular eye exam.
Is cataract prevention possible?
There’s no proven way to avoid cataracts or to keep them from getting worse, but the AOA recommends limiting how much UV light your eyes come into contact with by wearing sunglasses. For Eyes offers a large selection of UV-blocking sunglasses (both prescription and nonprescription) to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. (Feel free to ask one of our eye care associates if you need assistance in finding the perfect pair.)
The AOA also suggests adding more nutrient-dense food, such as veggies, to your diet to boost your antioxidant intake. Some nutrients that may lower your chances of getting cataracts are lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as zinc. However, additional data is needed to support this.
Your optometrist may suggest other cataract prevention techniques and treatment options, too. Depending on how your cataracts impact your eyesight, a different approach may be necessary. Please bring questions for your eye doctor to your eye exam to ensure you get the help and answers you need.
Here are some suggestions:
- How do I know if I have cataracts?
- How often do I need an eye exam if I have cataracts?
- How will you test my eyes for cataracts?
- Are prescription sunglasses necessary for cataract prevention?
Summary: How can you prevent cataracts from getting worse?
Cataracts are an eye disease that creates hazy eye lenses. This condition often happens due to your age, diabetes mellitus, an antioxidant-deficient diet, and too much subjection to UV light without the right sunglasses.
Cataract prevention may not be possible, but if you wear sunglasses while outdoors and consume more antioxidants, it may keep your symptoms from getting worse. Just keep in mind that everyone’s cataracts are different. The methods that work for you may not work for someone else (and vice versa).
But with the help of our skilled Independent Doctors of Optometry, we’re confident you can get the advice and treatment you need. Ask your eye doctor if you have any questions at all about cataracts. Our team is here for you.
Search for an eye doctor near you today to book an eye appointment. We take walk-ins when available, and most of our optical stores have weekend and weeknight hours.