There are few things as precious as vision, and most people would do whatever it takes to preserve their eyesight throughout their lives. And as aging occurs, vision problems often accompany it. Cataracts, the clouding of the eye’s lens, have long been one such issue associated with aging. If you or someone you know starts to experience common cataract symptoms, like blurry or double vision, halos around lights, difficulty seeing when it’s bright or dark, or vision tinged in yellow, you might automatically attribute it to aging.
But growing older isn’t the only factor that contributes to the development of cataracts. In fact, there are several high risk behaviors that are known to play just as big of a role in their formation. Here’s a look at what the most common ones are, so you can take action now to prevent an eye cataract from blocking your vision later in life.
Some diseases are associated with cataracts, but none as much as diabetes. If you suffer from Type I or Type II diabetes, you already have higher odds of developing cataracts in your lifetime. Carefully managing the symptoms of your diabetes is important, but more than likely won’t reduce your chances of getting cataracts. If you don’t already have diabetes, you’re in luck. Start making lifestyle changes now, like eating healthy foods, limiting sugar, and exercising regularly.
Even though research about the dangers of smoking has long been documented, there are still countless people who engage in the habit. If you’re still smoking, you’re not only damaging your lungs and overall health, but you’re also amplifying your likelihood of getting cataracts. Smoking is a very high risk behavior that can rob you of your wellbeing and ultimately your vision, so find a way to get help now. There are plenty of services available like Arizona’s Ash Line that can help you kick the habit to the curb.
In addition to smoking, excessive alcohol use has also been linked to the development of cataracts. It’s not yet clearly understood how much of a correlation there is between the two, but given that drinking too much alcohol is also known to lead to further health problems should be cause enough to limit consumption. Doing so will have a positive impact on your health and your eyesight.
It’s not always possible to control what you’re exposed to when you’re going about your day, but there are some things you can do to limit your interaction with damaging environmental elements. For instance, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can wreak havoc on your eyes and contribute greatly to cataract formation. Whenever you’re outside, be sure to wear high quality sunglasses that protect your eyes from harmful rays.
While cataracts are not wholly preventable, there’s quite a bit you can do today to reduce your chances of developing this issue in the future. Take action today by eating a more healthful diet, exercising more, limiting (or eliminating altogether) high risk behaviors like smoking and drinking, and wear those sunglasses every chance you get. Contact us today to ask about our eye exams or for more tips on preventive eye care. Your eyesight is worth it.