A cataract impairs a person’s vision due to a clouding of the eye’s lens. As people age, their risk of developing this condition increases. In fact, by the age of 80 about half of Americans have cataracts. Taking smart steps now may help reduce your risk of developing this condition.

Your eye doctor near Wildwood, FL, can give you personalized advice, in addition to the following helpful tips:

  • Wear Sunglasses: Protecting your eyes from UV rays can help keep them healthier overall, and some studies show a link between sunlight exposure and risk for cataracts.
  • Eat Well: Diets rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins may help reduce the risk of developing cataracts. There could be a lot of beneficial nutrients, such as beta-carotene, selenium, vitamins C and E, omega-3s, zeaxanthin and lutein.
  • Cut Out Cigarettes: Smoking can have a lot of negative health effects, including increasing your risk for developing cataracts. That is why a big part of preventing cataracts includes quitting smoking.
  • Use Medications Wisely: Some medicines, such as oral steroids, are linked to an increased risk of cataracts. If you have to take a prescribed medicine, be sure to take it as directed by your doctor. Talk with your eye doctor to learn more about the potential side effects.
  • Reduce Alcohol Consumption: Depending on your health, drinking some alcohol may be okay. However, too much beer, wine or spirits can be bad for your eyes.
  • Have Regular Exams: If you really want to understand your eye health, you need to have regular visits with your eye doctor. This gives your medical professional the opportunity to watch for signs of glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and other conditions.

Developing cataracts may be associated with age, genetics and lifestyle. Even if you take all of the steps listed above, you may not be able to prevent the development of cataracts. Talk with your optometrist to learn more about treatment options if needed.