The cataract surgeons at Laser Eye Center of Miami are experts in the treatment of cataracts. But the reasons why cataracts develop are more of a mystery to us. Age is believed to be the biggest risk factor for cataract development, and other factors such as sun exposure, smoking and poor diet have also been implicated.
Obviously you cannot change your age, but you can make a few healthy lifestyle changes in an effort to prevent or delay the onset of cataracts. Read on for our team’s best tips.
Eat Healthy Diet
Some experts believe that consuming a diet full of vitamins and antioxidants can help to neutralize molecules called free radicals, which have been linked to the development of cataracts. Focus on adding more leafy greens, fresh fruits and cold-water fish (full of omega-3 fatty acids) to your diet to help reduce the risk of early onset cataracts.
Kicking the smoking habit (or not picking it up in the first place) may help prevent or delay the onset of cataracts. Smoking creates free radicals that can harm the cells in your eyes. If you have trouble quitting, talk to your doctor about smoking cessation aids.
Protect Your Eyes From the Sun
Long-term exposure to sunlight is believed to speed up the formation of cataracts. (Other eye conditions like pterygium are linked to long-term sun exposure). In a sunny area like Miami, it is crucial to protect your eyes from UV rays by wearing quality sunglasses every day you go outside. Wide-brimmed hats can offer extra protection against the sun.
Avoid Corticosteroid Medications Whenever Possible
Another risk factor for early onset cataracts is prolonged use of corticosteroid medications. If you are starting a new drug regimen that includes these medications, talk to your doctor so you understand the risks. If possible, avoid taking corticosteroids for a prolonged period of time.
Have Regular Eye Exams
Having regular eye exams won’t prevent cataracts, but it will ensure that if you do develop them, the cataracts are caught early. Early cataract detection can save your sight, as it allows your doctor the best chance to monitor your eyes and minimize the cataracts’ effects on your day-to-day life. Make it a priority to schedule annual eye exams.
Contact Laser Eye Center of Miami
If you have questions about cataract formation or cataract surgery, please contact the team at Laser Eye Center of Miami to schedule an appointment today.