Cataracts most often appear in those Americans over the age of 40. These impairments of the eye are often age-related and result in blurred vision or temporary blindness. Fortunately, there are vision correction options available to you and the success rate for cataract surgery is as high as 98%.
Yet there are ways you can help to reduce your risk of developing age-related cataracts while you’re still in your youth. The lifestyle choices you make on a day-to-day basis can either increase or decrease your risk of cataracts.
Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make to maintain eye health and to avoid the need for future cataract and refractive eye surgery.
- Quit smoking
Smoking is bad for your overall health, but particularly for your lungs and eyes. Those who smoke regularly were found to be three times more likely to develop cataracts by the age of 40 than those who don’t smoke.
- Stay out of the sun
Staying out of the sun isn’t only important for protecting your skin from harsh sunburns. It’s also important for helping to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light. When the eyes are exposed to UV light directly, it can cause damage to certain proteins in your eye. Thus begins the development of cataracts, which is just one of the reasons why it’s so dangerous to look directly into the sun during an eclipse or any other time.
- Reduce the use of steroid medications
Try to reduce the number of steroid medications you take regularly if you can. Corticosteroids can help to reduce inflammation for those patients that need it. Long-term use of certain steroids, both by mouth or by eyedrop, has been shown to increase the risk of cataract development.
Many Americans only think to see their eye doctor or eye surgeon when they begin to experience blurred vision or light sensitivity. However, with the proper care and lifestyle changes you can help to reduce your risk of eye problems before they start. See your eye doctor regularly and discuss your options to help reduce your need for future cataract surgery.