How to reduce the risk of cataracts

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Cataracts can be a frustrating issue to deal with, causing cloudy patches in your vision which can even lead to blindness if not dealt with. The best way to combat cataracts is by knowing the causes and doing what you can to minimise your risk of developing them through everyday lifestyle choices.


What causes cataracts?

There are a lot of different factors which can increase your risk of cataracts, so your risk will be higher depending on how many of these apply to you:

  • Age, as cataracts can develop simply because of getting older
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Lack of vitamins
  • Exposure of your eyes to too much UV light
  • Long term use of steroid medication
  • Previous eye surgeries or injuries
  • Underlying health conditions such as diabetes
  • A family history of cataracts

While some of these factors are unavoidable, the majority can be addressed with a change in lifestyle, so here are three of the most straightforward ways in which you can combat the causes of cataracts whilst also improving your quality of life.

Eat a balanced diet

Studies have shown that people who develop diabetes carry a greater risk of getting cataracts at a later stage in life, so maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar with a healthy, balanced diet is essential. Ensuring you eat varied meals which top up your vitamin levels is another key way to help avoid developing cataracts, so upping your intake of fruits and vegetables is advisable. If you’re concerned you’re not getting enough vitamins within your diet then you can opt to take vitamin supplements to help address specific deficiencies.

Stop smoking

It’s well known that smoking is detrimental to your health for a whole variety of reasons, but one of the lesser known impacts it can have is on your eye health. As highlighted by research by the RNIB, heavy smokers (classified at 15 or more cigarettes a day) will have a greatly increased risk of developing cataracts than non-smokers due to damage to tissues in the eye. It can also create further issues due to the link between smoking and diabetes – another factor which can contribute to developing cataracts – and increase the number of free radical molecules which accelerate aging and can prevent essential nutrients and vitamins from food being absorbed.

Protect your eyes from the sun

When the weather breaks out in brighter spells, it’s only natural to take to the garden to soak up some rays and make the most of any sunny skies. But sun damage is something we sometimes forget about, and we do have to be careful with how much UV we expose ourselves to. While we have suncream to help manage the effects of the sun on our skin, we can forget about how UV rays can also damage our eyes. Wearing sunglasses with a good level of UV protection helps reduce the potential damage to your eyes, reducing the risk of developing cataracts.


About Ramsay Health Care

At Ramsay Health Care we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeons, ophthalmologist, orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists in the UK. Our holistic care offers you the best treatment!At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment for your cataract surgery. Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.

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