Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. In many cases, a cataract starts out small and gradually gets bigger. The rate at which a cataract progresses is different for everyone. But as the cataract grows larger, it can cause blurry, distorted vision that interferes with a person’s daily routine.
Since cataracts are a degenerative condition, there has been some discussion about whether it’s possible to slow the progression of a mild or small cataract. In general, prevention is very challenging.
But some doctors believe there are certain habits that may prevent a cataract from worsening. These are mostly intuitive habits that aren’t very difficult to incorporate into daily life. Read on as the team at Island Eye Surgicenter reveals some of these habits.
Protect Your Eyes from Ultraviolet Light
There is speculation that environmental factors have something to do with the progression of cataracts. Specifically, extended exposure to UV rays can accelerate the maturation of a cataract. Thus, protecting your eyes from extensive exposure to the sun may delay the progression of cataracts. It is recommended that you wear sunglasses with UV protection, as well as a wide-brimmed hat when going out into the sun. Also, avoiding the sun at peak hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is wise.
Steroid eyedrops can be useful in cases of dry eye and other types of inflammation, but they have also been linked to the progression of cataracts. It’s best to avoid using corticosteroid eyedrops or, if you have to take them, see your eye doctor regularly for check-ups.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Another factor that may influence the development of a cataract is poor nutrition. Make sure you eat plenty of eye-healthy foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and cold water fish like cod, salmon or mackerel.
Smoking is harmful to every area of the body, including the eyes. If you smoke, talk to your primary care physician about instituting a cessation plan.
When a Cataract Progresses
Should a cataract progress to the point where it interferes with vision and daily tasks, it may make sense to consider surgical treatment. Not only is cataract surgery one of the most commonly performed procedures in the country, it is also very safe and usually well tolerated. By removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens, cataract surgery can restore clear vision and focus.
To learn more about cataracts and their treatment, please contact the team at Island Eye Surgicenter today.