Can You Prevent Cataracts?

Cataracts affect more than 24 million people over the age of 40 in the United States. At some point, many of these sufferers will need to undergo cataract surgery to restore most or all of their vision. If you've seen a family member suffer from this condition, you undoubtedly want to escape it yourself. Although there is no guarantee that you will not face this vision problem, you can take some preventative steps to improve your odds of escaping surgery. 


Although some cataracts are caused by other eye conditions or trauma, many are simply age-related. In fact, the age-related cataract is responsible for many people going blind worldwide. Experts feel that a healthy diet rich in antioxidants may help prevent this condition by controlling "free-radicals." Although this approach is still mainly theoretical, eating well-balanced meals that include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains may help you escape cataracts. Since this type of diet has been proven to be good for your overall health, you can't lose by following it. 


Eye health professionals also recommend certain lifestyle choices that may reduce your cataract risk. For instance, you should protect your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses. Doctors also suggest that you quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight, and drink only in moderation. Although studies in cataract prevention are lacking, professionals agree that these measures may help. 

Eye Exams

Having regular eye exams can help by spotting cataracts early. Your doctor can give you strategies for coping with your cataracts, such as limiting your night driving and using improved lighting at home. In some instances, your cataract may be so minor that you never need to have surgery. However, having regular eye exams will help you to know when the time is right to take action. You are definitely ready for the surgery when the doctor cannot correct your vision enough for you to legally drive or when other daily tasks become difficult to complete. Fortunately, vision lost to cataracts is not permanent. Once they are removed, you should regain all or most of your sight. 

Cataracts are a reality for many Americans, particularly as they age. You can take steps to reduce your odds of needing cataract surgery. Simply living a healthy life and visiting your eye doctor regularly may do the trick. Proper and continual care of your eyes will help ensure that you can see clearly for your entire life. Visit California Eye Specialists Medical Group Inc. for more information about cataract surgery.