Treatment & Prevention – How to prevent cataracts

Cataracts are usually a natural by-product of ageing, so there’s no way of preventing them, although there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing them:  

  • Stop smoking – research has shown that smoking can increase the risk of cataracts. If you need help to quit, contact your doctor and they’ll be able to advise which option is likely to work best for you. 
  • Drink less alcohol – drinking excessive amounts of alcohol has been linked to increased risk of cataracts, so reducing the amount you drink may help to reduce your risk of developing cataracts. 
  • Wear sunglasses – it’s thought that UV rays from the sun can contribute to the development of cataracts. By wearing sunglasses that have UV400 protection, you can reduce the damage that UV rays cause to your eyes and potentially reduce the risk of cataracts, too. 
  • Have regular eye tests – although having eye tests won’t prevent cataracts, you’ll give yourself and your optician the best chance to detect them – and other eye problems – in their early stages. 
  • Eat healthily – eating a healthy, varied diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, ensures that you’re getting the vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants necessary for both eye health and your general health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that eating a vitamin and mineral rich diet, containing lots of fruit and vegetables, is associated with reduced risk of cataracts. 

So, although you can’t categorically prevent cataracts, there are ways to help reduce the risk of getting them. 

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