Eyes Are Two Of A Kind
The eyes, in many ways, unlock the world and are the most significant determining factor in decision making. Such reliance is demonstrated in purchases, driving, and even food has a visual feel. Cataracts often slowly blur vision until objects appear gray and dull.
Don’t go chasing waterfalls
To see, light needs to focus on a specific point in the very back of the eye. Like a camera, the eye has a lens to focus incoming images on that spot to make vision clear. A cataract is a clouding of this otherwise clear lens. Like a dirty window, light passing through a cataractous lens appears hazy and obscure.
Lots of birthday candles
As the eye’s natural lens gets older, protein strands inside begin to break down. This process causes the lens to lose transparency over time and give way to a gray, yellow, or brown color. This shift typically begins around age 40, although cataracts are rarely noticeable at that time. Being such a gradual disease, patients may not notice vision loss until age 60 or later.
You should see the other guy
The other significant contributing factor to cataracts is injury. A blow to the eye or elsewhere on the face can have a detrimental effect on lens tissue. The resulting breakdown of lenticular protein strands leads to cataract formation. In traumatic events, the onset of cataracts is often much more rapid than with age.
Science has yet to uncover a means to prevent a cataract from forming in the lens. However, there are a few ways to slow the transition from a clear to a cloudy lens.
The Sun, our frenemy
There would be no life without sunlight, but continuous exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can be detrimental to the eye. Reducing the amount of UV that enters the eye can keep cataracts from forming quickly. A pair of sunglasses with 99 or 100% UVA and UVB protection is a solid choice. Note that the Sun’s rays are strong enough to penetrate cloud cover.
Control that sugar
Cataracts are much more common in patients with diabetes. High blood sugar can cause the lens to swell, leading to faster cataract formation. Keeping blood sugars in a safe range can prevent issues.
Some eye drops, most notably steroids, are known to increase the rate at which cataracts form. These drops typically treat inflammation and should never be discontinued without the okay from a doctor. If steroid eyedrops are a concern, talk to the healthcare specialist about alternative treatment options.
Lay off the smoking
Smoking can wreak havoc on the entire body, including the eyes. While linked to several medical issues, smoking can also rapidly advance cataract formation in one or both eyes. A smoking cessation program can help nip the bad habit before too much damage occurs.
You are what you eat
A balanced diet can play an important role in keeping cataracts at bay. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins C and E that the eye thrives on. These vitamins help keep the eye healthy and free from disease.
Reducing the risk of cataracts is as simple as scheduling regular visits with an ophthalmologist. These physicians are trained to monitor cataracts, offering ways to improve vision until the eye is ready for cataract removal. Although surgery is the only method to remove cataracts at present, the procedure is very low risk.