In June, Cataract Awareness Month and Fireworks Safety Month overlap to draw extra attention to two big threats to your eyes. It’s relatively easy to protect your eyes from fireworks injuries – safe handling of pyrotechnics will eliminate most threats. Reducing cataract risk, however, takes a bit more effort.
What Are Cataracts?
When the lenses of the eyes get clouded with clumped protein, the patient is said to have cataracts. The clouded lenses themselves are the cataracts – they are not separate growths.
Typically, lens clouding takes place over the course of many years. There is no foolproof way to prevent them, but there are several risk factors that can be controlled.
Reducing Your Risk of Cataracts
Several cataract risk factors can be controlled or eliminated. One of the easiest things you can do is protect your eyes from UV light exposure. UV-blocking sunglasses are offered with or without prescriptions at our optometry office, and a clear UV-blocking coating can be ordered when you get regular eyeglasses as well.
Other big controllable risk factors include smoking and alcohol consumption. Smokers have about a 50 percent higher chance of getting cataracts than non-smokers, so if you smoke, quit as soon as you can. Those who have more than two drinks a day have a similar increase in cataract risk, so be sure to keep consumption low.
Eating habits are also controllable. For eye health, doctors suggest eating plenty of dark green, leafy vegetables and fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Uncontrollable Risk Factors
The biggest risk factor that can’t be controlled is genetics. If cataracts run in your family, reduce your risk by focusing on the controllable elements.
Age is another risk factor and the incidence of cataracts increases as you advance in years. Paying attention to controllable risk factors can do a lot to reduce the incidence of age-related problems, and it’s never too late to improve your health profile.
Contact Our Local Eye Doctor Today!
Regular eye exams are essential for spotting developing cataracts and other emerging eye problems. Make an appointment with us here at Revolution Eyes in Carmel to get the eye care you need.