Patients often ask whether there is a way of delaying cataracts since they may have a family member who has it. Laser eye surgery doctors in Los Angeles tell us that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent them, but making some lifestyle changes could reduce your risk of getting them.
How Do Cataracts Happen?
The doctor at Excel Laser Vision Institute, a LASIK eye center in Los Angeles, points out that the real reason why medical professionals can’t find a way to delay cataracts is that it is more complicated than keeping a clear lens from becoming cloudy. So, the whole point isn’t about keeping the lens clear but more about how to stop it from aging. For now, scientists haven’t found a way to delay aging. However, they have a good idea of what causes it biochemically. And the same can be said for cataracts.
Every year, the lens in your eye lays down new layers, kind of like how a tree lays down new rings each year. Over time, the center of the lens gets more compressed, and it results in hardening and cloudiness. There is a type of biochemical bond referred to as a disulfide bond, and it occurs between the cysteine amino acids of the crystalline proteins in the eye. LASIK eye surgeons in Los Angeles confirm that there is no way to stop it or delay it.
How Do You Prevent Cataracts From Getting Worse?
Nevertheless, Doctor Moosa, a LASIK surgeon in Los Angeles, gives us five ways to prevent cataracts or keep them from getting worse. These methods are not difficult to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle, but they can possibly prevent you from becoming blind.
Stay Away From Lengthy Exposure To UV Light
Although a small amount of exposure to the sun is healthy, prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can intensify cataract progression.
This doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself indoors most of the time. It is okay to go out as long as you protect yourself from the dangers of prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light.
When the sun is out, and you want to be outside, make it a point to wear sunglasses. As mentioned above, lowering the amount of ultraviolet light that reaches your eyes will help you prevent getting cataracts.
Also, don’t be fooled when there is a cloudy day since the sun’s rays can pass through thin clouds. The peak hours of the day for sun exposure are between 10 am, and 3 pm or else 11 am and 4 pm daylight savings time.
Don’t Use Steroid Drops
Sometimes ophthalmologists will prescribe steroid eye drops to treat dry eyes and arthritic flare-ups in the eyes. These steroids imitate the effects of cortisol in the body to lower inflammation.
Although steroid eye drops are useful when administered properly, they can have damaging side effects, which consist of the acceleration of cataracts.
If you do have to use steroid eye drops on a regular basis, you should have regular eye exams carried out. If you notice cataracts developing, speak to your optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
Look Out For Medicinal Side Effects
Commonly prescribed medications have side effects that could trigger the cataract progress. If you are at risk for cataracts and take medication on a regular basis, ask your medical professional about any side effects you have to be aware of.
If you are taking necessary medication that could speed up cataracts, it is crucial that you avoid sunlight during peak hours, wear sunglasses or a hat during sunny days, and have regular eye exams.
Taking medication to enhance your life may not be worthwhile if it results in cataracts. So, think about your options carefully.
Think About Cataract Surgery
When cataracts have already set or progressed to a point where it disrupts many aspects of your life, you should think about having cataracts removed.
You can only remove it through cataract surgery, a process that involves removing your eye’s natural cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. One of the leading eye surgeons at Excel Eye Institute will discuss and advise you of the options for corrective lenses that are appropriate for you.
This is the best way to treat cataracts that have already set in, but it may not be the best solution for everyone. Make sure to contact your laser eye clinic to figure out if cataract surgery is the right option for you.
Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Research has shown that a healthy lifestyle can lead to reducing the development of cataracts.
And this is a very logical finding since a healthy lifestyle helps to fight against many ailments. But, what exactly comprises a “healthy lifestyle”?
Here are a few suggestions from existing studies:
- People who have a diet that consists of colorful fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may show a reduced possibility of developing cataracts.
- Studies suggest that antioxidant vitamins in these fruits and vegetables may lower the risk of cataracts.
- Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body and is excellent for eye health.
- The consumption of fish has been linked to a reduced risk of cataracts.
- Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been known to reduce cataract progression.
- A diet high in carbohydrates may speed up cataract progression.
- Foods that are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals may delay cataracts.
- Dehydration can quicken the development of cataracts.
- Alcohol may accelerate the development of cataracts.
- Smoking will increase the chance of developing cataracts.
- Obesity may increase the chances of developing cataracts.
- Individuals with diabetes may be at a higher risk of developing cataracts.
Many people over the age of 50 will eventually develop age-related changes in their lenses, known as “early cataracts.” It may be challenging to prevent cataracts from progressing entirely, but you could live cataract-free by taking account of these guidelines.