Cataracts occur when the eyes lenses start to cloud over and become opaque. This leads to cloudy vision that can make it difficult to read, drive a car, and read the expressions on someone’s face, among other things. Cataracts tend to develop slowly and show no symptoms early on, making them difficult to treat in their earliest stages.
They are also the leading cause of blindness in older adults, and while stronger eyeglasses and better lighting can help someone with cataracts, they may eventually need surgery to correct the problem. Some of the symptoms of cataracts include blurry vision, light sensitivity, seeing “halos” around lights, and double vision in a single eye.
How to Prevent Cataracts Naturally
Cataracts can be caused by a number of things. Some cases are hereditary, while others may be caused by eye injuries, illness, or previous eye surgeries. Some doctors have argued that it is inevitable that people will develop cataracts, and that it is simply a part of growing old.
Although cataracts can be treated through surgery, there are things that you can do to prevent them from forming in the first place provided that your cataracts are not caused by a genetic condition.
Most of these come down to simple lifestyle changes, but they can make a difference and should be taken seriously. With that being said, here are just five things that you can do to prevent cataracts from developing in your own eyes.
Have Regular Eye Exams
The best way to combat cataracts is to see your eye doctor regularly for exams. You should discuss any family history of cataracts, any eye injuries you may have experienced, and any noticeable changes in your vision.
As long as you are forthcoming with your doctor and you undergo regular examinations, you should be able to catch any developing cataracts while they are still relatively minor.
Smoking is a huge risk factor for cataracts, so you can think of that as just one more reason to give up cigarettes. We all know that this is easier said than done, but there are programs and medications that can make it easier for you to give up smoking. Again, speak to your doctor about your smoking habit if you notice any changes to your eyesight.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Like all things, your eyes are affected by what you eat. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will ensure that you get plenty of antioxidants and other nutrients that are good for your eyes.
These antioxidants should come from what you eat, too. Studies have shown that pills containing antioxidants do not slow down the formation of cataracts, while antioxidants from fruits and vegetables do.
UV radiation can severely damage your eyes and may contribute to the formation of cataracts. When you go outdoors, make sure to wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UV rays.
Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol may slightly increase the chance that you will develop cataracts. One study by Swedish researchers found that women who consumed one or more alcoholic drinks per day were 11 percent more likely than non-drinkers to need cataract surgery later in life.
Alcohol consumption may only slightly increase your chances of developing cataracts, but it is still something to consider. Think of it as just one more reason to reduce your alcohol consumption.
For the most part, treating cataracts comes down to monitoring your eyes and following the previous tips to prevent them from forming in the first place. Once cataracts do develop enough to affect your eyesight, the best treatment is to undergo surgery.
Brisbane cataracts surgery involves making micro incisions in the lens bag of the eye. The lens is then broken up into small fragments using ultrasound and removed. An artificial lens that is formulated to that specific eye is then inserted. This procedure is performed using a local anesthetic and has been proven to be a safe and effective procedure.
For more information about preventing cataracts or to find out if you may need cataract surgery, contact the office of Dr. Cameron McLintock today.