Cataracts are more common than you think, especially in older people. According to the National Eye Institute, half of Americans have a cataract or went through cataract surgery by age 80. This eye disease can lead to blindness and affect your quality of life. However, if you start taking better care of your eyes, you can reduce your risk of getting this disease. Here are five effective ways for preventing cataracts:
Protect Your Eyes from the Sun
The sun's ultraviolet rays can be very damaging to your eyes, so you have to be careful. Make a habit of putting on sunglasses before leaving the house and try not to look directly at the sun. If it is very sunny out, it may also be a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed hat.
Eat the Right Foods
A nutritious diet can also go a long way in lowering your risk of cataracts. Make sure to include plenty of leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, in your diet because they contain the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin.
Take Caution While Playing Sports
If you regularly engage in contact sports, like baseball or basketball, you need to be extra careful with your eyes. If your eyes endure trauma from being hit by a ball, you can increase your risk of developing cataracts in the future. To prevent this from happening, wear eye goggles while playing sports.
Smoking may be a difficult habit to break, but you should make the effort. If you smoke regularly, you can hurt your eyes and increase your chances of getting cataracts. If you do not think you will be able to stop the habit on your own, ask your physician for advice.
Do not Neglect Your Eye Doctor Appointments
Even if your eyesight has never been better, you should never skip an eye doctor appointment. Early signs of cataracts and other eye diseases can be difficult to miss. If your optometrist, like Northwest Ophthalmology, detects early symptoms of cataracts, you can start treatment as soon as possible and prevent the disease from progressing further.
Treating your eyes with care can lower your risk of getting diagnosed with cataracts. If you follow these useful tips, you can keep your eyes healthy for a long time. However, if you still develop cataracts, you may want to consider cataract surgery. There have been a lot of advances with this procedure over the years.