How To Prevent Cataracts


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As you might already know, cataract mainly affects aging people. That being said, people still want to know how to prevent cataracts and the good news is, there are actions you can take. There are some instances where you can change your lifestyle and also eat certain foods to ensure that you are not at significant risk of getting a cataract. Anyone of any age can get a cataract, and it is vital that you reduce the risk of developing a cataract so that you do not have to face the problem later on in life.

There are no magic pills or vitamins proven to decrease the incidence of cataracts. There is some thought that antioxidants may be helpful, but there are no large clinical trials to support this conclusion. That doesn’t mean they don’t work… rather, it means that there is no clinical trial evidence to support that they work.

Check Your Vices

One of the main modifiable risk factors for developing cataracts is smoking. This is likely dependent upon how much and how long an individual smoked. The evidence is quite strong that smoking will accelerate cataract development. If there weren’t enough reasons to quit smoking, add another one to the list!

Diabetes is another risk factor for early cataract development. In many patients, diet and exercise alone won’t be enough. However, to the extent that diet and exercise can be used to treat or prevent type 2 diabetes, this will help prevent accelerated cataract development.

Poorly controlled diabetes will result in faster cataract development, so making sure that you are following your doctor’s recommendations and managing your diabetes will help prevent early cataract development.

Wear shades

Keep your eyes shielded from the harmful rays of the sun using UVA/ UVB protection sunglasses when you are out in the sun. There is some controversy as to whether ultraviolet rays from the sun accelerate cataract growth. There is evidence that UVB rays cause lens opacities in animals.

While the evidence is not conclusive, many doctors will err on the safe side and recommend that you wear eye protection when outside on a sunny day. There are other parts of the eye that will thank you even if cataracts aren’t a problem, as UV light can damage the retina and cause pterygium growth. 


No… not the weightlifter kind. We’re talking about “corticosteroids” such as prednisone. Steroids are used for all sorts of medical conditions, from skin creams to inhaled steroids, to joint injections, and pills. Steroids treat inflammation. Because inflammation is common to so many medical conditions, steroids are a very common medication. However, steroids have side effects.

It’s important to work with your doctor to take the right amount of steroids. Obviously, you want to take enough to treat your problem, but not too much so as to avoid unwanted side effects. 

Foods That Might Prevent Cataracts

We all know that a healthy diet and lifestyle help your body’s immune system, and you can fight diseases when you have the proper nutrients in your body. When you are eating food, ensure that you include daily servings of vegetables and fruits in your diet and try to eat lean meat.

It is thought that a diet with antioxidants may help prevent cataracts. These types of placebo-controlled double-blinded clinical trials that last for years or decades are impractical to perform, however, some doctors believe that certain foods could be helpful in slowing down the growth of cataracts.

For example, dark green vegetables and fruits are a great source of antioxidants.

A Regular Visit To The Eye Doctor

No matter how you feel or when you know that your vision is clear, you should always keep your appointments with the eye doctor. This is because cataract begins slowly and might take a long time before it is noticeable, and early detection will ensure that you can get it treated early enough.

The doctor can quickly notice if you have a cataract or any other eye-related conditions if you make an appointment early enough. Even if you notice that you are having a slight problem with your eyes, you need to ensure that you have your eyes checked yearly.

Overall, you need to ensure that you eat healthily, maintain a healthier lifestyle and keep up with your doctor’s visits. This way, you will be able to detect any problem early enough and get it treated.

A cataract is treatable, but if you do not get it removed early enough, the blurred vision can get worse, and you risk losing your sight permanently.

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About the Author Written by Dr. Michael Shumski, M.D., M.S.E.

Dr. Shumski is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract & refractive surgery at Magruder Laser Vision in central Florida.

In service for many years to treat cataract patients

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