At a young age, your lens (small disc-like structure in your eye) is often like transparent glass, letting you see clearly through them. As you get older, the lenses can become frosted and start to limit your vision. Cataracts occur when the lenses develop cloudy or opaque patches. In 2010, there were more than 20 million cases of Americans who have this eye condition. Experts believe that this number will reach 50 million by 2050.
When cataracts are mild, you may not experience any symptoms initially. As the condition progresses, it can result in various changes in your vision, such as:
Cloudy, blurry vision.
Seeing a halo around lights.
Decreased color perception.
Extra sensitivity to bright lights.
Difficulty seeing at night or in low light.
It is also possible to see double. Although this usually goes away once the cataract has gotten bigger. In addition, you will notice that you have to change the prescription for your eyeglasses often.
When you wear your glasses, there may be times that you will feel as if your lenses are misty and require cleaning, even when they really don’t. Cataracts will not make your eyes reddish or irritated. But, you may experience discomfort or eye pain in advanced stages. If left untreated, cataracts can lead to vision loss.
Although studies to prevent cataracts are still limited, most doctors agree that there are ways to maintain your overall eye health and help reduce your risk of developing this eye problem. These strategies include the following:
Make routine eye exams a priority. Even if your eyes are healthy and your vision is clear, schedule your eye checkup regularly. Annual visits to your eye doctor allow them to detect signs of cataracts and other potential vision disorders.
Eat a diet rich in essential nutrients. Consume foods high in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E. These beneficial nutrients have been found to help ward off your risk of developing cataracts.
Quit smoking and cut back on alcohol. You may already be aware of how cigarettes can cause a myriad of health problems to you and the people around you. Did you know that smoking tobacco can also harm the health of your eyes? Studies show that smoking can significantly increase your risk of cataract development. The same goes for excessive alcohol consumption. So, do not forget to drink beer or wine in moderation.
Protect your eyes from harmful solar radiation. Chronic exposure to sunlight can also increase your risk of cataract development. Make sure you wear sunglasses with 99 to 100 percent ultraviolet (UV) protection when going out in the sun for long periods. A wide-brimmed hat can also help filter the damage from direct UV rays and those reflected from the sand and water.
Does your vision seem to start interfering with your day-to-day activities? At the Eyecare Center of Martin, we can help examine your eyes and find a suitable treatment. Visit our clinic today in Martin, Tennessee, or call us now at (731) 587-3555 to schedule your appointment.