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5 Tips To Help Prevent Cataracts


Can You Reduce Your Risk Of Needing Cataract Surgery?

As we age, our eyes are at risk of developing cataracts – is there any way to prevent them? According to the Australian Department of Health, over half of Australians over 50 are affected by cataracts and, by the age of 80, almost everyone develops cataracts.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye and can occur in one or both eyes. Cataracts develop mostly in older people, but younger people can also get cataracts. When you first start experiencing the symptoms of cataracts they may only affect a small portion of your lens causing you to be unaware of the vision loss that you are incurring. As the cataracts progress, the normally transparent lens inside the eye becomes hazy or cloudy, making your world seem dim and blurry. Some patients describe this vision loss as though they’re looking through a dirty window. Over time cataracts will get worse, in fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide according to the World Health Organization.

What Can You Do To Protect Your Eye Health?

While it may not be possible to avoid cataract surgery, you may be wondering if there are any simple lifestyle modifications you can make to reduce your risks or at least delay the onset of cataracts and the associated vision problems. The causes of cataracts are quite varied and there are a number of health conditions that are known risk factors including diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, certain medications and eye injuries or diseases.

Here are 5 helpful tips to help protect the health of your eyes and lower your risks of developing cataracts.

1.  Wear a Hat & Sunglasses

Whenever you are outside and exposed to bright light, wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses with the highest possible rate of UV absorption to protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation. Try to make sure you wear sunglasses year-round, especially when you are at the beach or while participating in outdoor activities.

2.  Quit Smoking

Not only is smoking bad for your heart and lungs, but it’s also really bad for your eyes! And when it comes to cataracts, smoking is a risk factor that’s very much in your control. Smokers are at a higher risk for developing diabetes and hypertension which are two of the health conditions that play a role in the development of cataracts. A study by the American Centers For Disease Control & Prevention found that smokers are 2-3 times more likely to develop cataracts compared with people who don’t smoke. If you can kick the habit, it may also help prevent cataracts.

3.  Eat a Rainbow of Antioxidant Rich Foods

When it comes to protecting your vision, what you eat may affect what you see. Eating a diet that includes foods rich in antioxidants such as fruit and vegetables may help to protect your eyes from cataracts. Researchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin to reducing the risk of certain eye diseases like cataracts. People who consistently follow a healthy diet that includes colourful fruits, vegetables and whole grains may show a decreased risk of cataracts.

4.  Take Multivitamins

A recent study from the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that long-term daily multivitamin supplement use may lower cataract risk. While nothing can replace a healthy diet, you can consider adding a multivitamin to your daily regime. Look for multivitamins that contain A, C, and E which promote overall eye health as well as lutein and zeaxanthin to aid in the eyes’ response to light and glare.

5.  Have Regular Eye Tests

As with many things in life, early detection is key to getting the best treatment. Changes to the health of your eyes can happen gradually and you may not aware of the subtle decline in your vision. Regular eye check-ups may help to detect problems at an early stage, which means you can start treatment as soon as possible to reduce the risk of any permanent damage to your eyes. Having regular eye tests should be an essential part of your healthcare routine.

Taking these 5 steps toward preventing cataracts can help keep the world you see bright and clear. No matter your age, it’s never too late to start protecting the health of your eyes. Contact the friendly Best Practice Eyecare team today on  (07) 5492 2822 to ask about our cataract treatments.

 

Dr Karpa is a leading Sunshine Coast cataract surgeon, ophthalmologist and eye care specialist at Best Practice Eyecare. Based in the beautiful coastal suburb of Golden Beach, Dr Karpa and this expert team provide eye care services of the highest standard with a relaxed, friendly patient-focused approach.

We service patients across all areas of the Sunshine Coast including Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba, and Maroochydore. Our practice is led by surgeon Dr. Michael Karpa who treats a wide range of eye conditions such as cataractsglaucomamacular degenerationdry eyes, and flashes & floaters.

Best Practice Eyecare Ophthalmologists

Based on the Sunshine Coast, we provide ophthalmologist, eye care and surgical services of the highest standard. We treat and manage a wide range of eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration and more.

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