Tips to Prevent Cataract
The Cataract is a part of normal ageing process. Like the greying of the hair is inevitable so is the clouding of the lens. As age progresses there is a clouding of the natural lens. This causes blurring of vision, coloured haloes, and sensitivity to bright light. Once a cataract develops the only treatment option available is surgery. But the development of cataracts can be delayed by a few lifestyle changes. It has been observed that cataract develops later in those who follow a healthier lifestyle. Since age-old times it has been said that prevention is better than cure, this also applies to cataracts.
Oxidation is responsible for early ageing. Like elsewhere in the body anti-oxidants delay ageing likewise even in the eye antioxidants delay the onset and progression of cataract. A healthy diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals may delay the progression of cataract. A diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains results in healthy eyes. Essential Vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and E, lutein, zeaxanthin and omega 3 fatty acids must be included in your daily diet. If you feel you are not able to consume enough of these vitamins you may ask us about supplements. A balanced diet is healthy for our body so it is also healthy for our eyes.
Protection from Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
Ultraviolet rays from the sun damage the eyes in many ways. Ultraviolet rays may cause the progression of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Protecting your eyes from harmful UV radiation has been emphasized for these reasons. It is always a good idea to protect your eyes with a hat, scarf, or dupatta when stepping out in the hot sun. It is also advisable to use polarized sunglasses, photochromatic lenses, and UV blocking contact lenses to protect the eyes from UV damage.
Smoking results in the release of free radicals in the body. Just like UV radiation, smoking also increases the risk of both cataract and age related macular degeneration (AMD). Quit smoking is not only good for the eyes is also good for the body.
Control your blood sugar
Cataract formation has been noted much earlier in diabetics as compared to non-diabetics. High blood sugar has been associated with cataract formation and progression. The age at which people with diabetes with poor sugar control present with cataract, is much lower than the average population. It’s very important to have good sugar control. In addition to cataracts, high blood sugars also lead to diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes affects the blood vessels of the retina. This causes new blood vessel formation, leakage, and hemorrhage in the retina. Damage caused by diabetic retinopathy may be sight-threatening.
Trauma to the eye can lead to damage to the eye in many ways. Trauma can also cause cataract formation. It is always necessary to protect the eye from any trauma. Eye injuries are very common in certain types of workers so it is always recommended to wear protective eye gear to prevent injuries. Even while playing especially with ball eye injuries are very common. Always protect your eyes from damage.
Avoid the unnecessary use of steroids
Steroids are life-saving drugs, but their indiscriminate use can lead to many problems, especially in the eye. In India, steroids are available over the counter considering the harmful effects they must not be given without a prescription. Steroids can lead to early cataract formation. Steroids also cause a rise in IOP which can progress to glaucoma. Steroids must be taken only as advised by your eye doctor.
Visit your eye doctor
Schedule an eye test at regular intervals even if you do not have any symptoms. Especially after forty years of age, there are changes in the eye which lead to near reading glasses. A routine eye test will rule out cataract, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Early detection and treatment will limit the progression of the diseases.
What if I still get a cataract?
The above measures may help you delay the formation of cataract, but just life greying if hair cataract formation is inevitable. If you have early cataract, you may be prescribed glasses. When the vision cannot be corrected by glasses you will be advised cataract surgery. All the advantages and disadvantages of cataract surgery will be discussed with you. Cataract surgery may sound scary but it is a relatively safe surgery. Your doctor will help you restore your vision to normal.
Indovision cataract & laser eye centre offers all the latest best surgical procedures for cataract surgery in Pune. Most advanced techniques and guidelines are practiced by our experts at an affordable cost.
We are always adopting innovative technologies to deliver the best eyecare. At Indovision, our highly trained ophthalmologists strive to provide the sharpest vision using state-of-the-art equipment.
Dr Sarika Sethia is a Gold medallist in ophthalmology. She is also a Diplomat of the National Board. She has presented oral papers, posters & lectures at various national & international conferences. She has completed many fellowships & training courses in advanced cataract & laser vision correction surgeries. She has worked at a postgraduate institute as Assistant Professor. She is on a panel of prestigious hospitals in Pune like Jehangir hospital, Sanjeevan hospital & Global hospital. Currently, she is the director at Indovision Cataract & Laser Eye Centre.
7 Tips to Prevent Cataract
Protection from Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
Protecting your eyes from harmful UV radiations couldn’t be more emphasised. A hat, scarf or dupatta is a good idea when stepping out in the sun. One may also use polarized sunglasses, photochromatic lenses and UV blocking contact lenses to prevent UV induced damage to the eye. UV radiation is known to increase the risk of both cataract, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Smoking has also been associated with an increased risk of both, cataract and AMD, just like UV radiation. It is because the adverse effects of both are caused by the release of free radicals in the body. Smoking increases the risk of cataract formation and progression almost three times.
Control your blood sugar
Increased blood sugar results in cataract formation. In fact, the average age at which people with diabetes with poor sugar control present with cataract, is much lower than that of the average population. It is therefore vital to ensure goodglycaemic control. In addition, high blood sugars also predispose one to a potential sight-threatening condition called diabetic retinopathy in which new blood vessels are formed on the light-sensitive retina. These new blood vessels tend to leak both fluid and blood, resulting in retinal swelling and haemorrhages.
Traumatic cataract has no age predilection, that is, trauma at any age can result in the formation and progression of cataract. It is therefore essential to avoid eye injuries by taking appropriate preventive measures. The most important thing is to use protective eyewear, including glasses and eye shields, to prevent eye injuries in hazardous situations at work and play.