Good vision is an essential component of a healthy life. However, as you age, you become more prone to certain vision problems, including cataracts. If left untreated, cataracts can be quite troublesome and can impair your eyesight. This can make it difficult to perform daily tasks, including driving, reading, or enjoying your favorite television show. Fortunately, understanding what causes cataracts and how to treat them can help you enjoy clear vision again. You can also visit Best Cataract Surgeons’s website for more information on how to prevent cataracts. 

What Are Cataracts?

While they may look serious, cataracts are a very common eye condition. They form when the lens of the eye becomes clouded, which usually occurs gradually over a long period of time. When the clouding becomes severe, patients tend to notice a variety of symptoms, which may include:

  • Cloudy, blurry, or dim vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Less vibrancy in colors
  • The appearance of “halos” around lights or lighted objects
  • Changes in contact lens or glasses prescriptions

Most often, cataracts occur as the eye lens starts to break down over time, which is a natural part of the aging process. However, other factors can expedite the appearance of cataracts.

How Can You Prevent Cataracts?

Cataracts that are a result of aging or genetics are not necessarily preventable, but certain behaviors and lifestyle choices can help keep cataracts at bay for many years. These tips are a good place to start.

Have Your Eyes Checked Every Year

An eye physician can detect warning signs of cataracts and other eye conditions long before symptoms are noticeable to a patient. They can also ensure your prescription is up to date so you’re experiencing your best vision possible. Just as you should see a doctor each year to monitor your overall health, you should also see an eye doctor annually to monitor your eye health.

Wear Sunglasses Whenever You’re Outdoors

The harmful UV rays of the sun can cause the structures of the eye to break down faster over time. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes and help prevent the development of cataracts. However, it’s not just sunny summer days that require this level of protection; any time you’re outside, make sure you’re wearing sunglasses that provide both UVA and UVB protection.

Eat a Nutrient-Rich Diet

Eating plenty of produce that’s rich in vitamins and nutrients is a great way to strengthen your eyes. The more (naturally) colorful your diet, the better. Eating healthy also reduces your risks of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, all of which put you at a higher risk for developing cataracts.

Are Cataracts Treatable?

Most cataracts are very treatable with a simple surgical procedure. This process involves removing the clouded, natural lens of the eye and replacing it with a clear, artificial lens. The surgery is quick and requires just a day or two of recovery. While it is considered safe for most patients, it does come with risks of infection, just as any other type of surgery. For this reason, eye experts recommend the surgery only if cataracts have progressed enough to impair a person’s vision, as they are otherwise harmless.

Do Cataracts Come Back After Treatment?

Because the eye lens is completely removed during surgery, true cataracts cannot develop again. However, secondary cataracts occur in approximately 20% of patients who have cataract surgery. When this happens, the capsule that holds the new artificial lens in place becomes clouded. Fortunately, a simple laser treatment quickly and painlessly remedies the issue.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of cataracts, schedule an appointment with an eye physician today. A few simple tests and possible treatments can have you on the path to clearer vision in no time. Be sure to maintain excellent overall health and schedule annual eye exams to help reduce your risks for developing this type of eye issue.