Can Cataracts be Prevented?

Cataract is world’s leading cause of blindness currently affecting nearly 20 million people. We do understand that age is the most common risk factor for cataract. Aging cannot be prevented and so is cataract. The alternate prevention mode that we focus attention on is how the risk of developing cataract can be minimized by slowing down its development.

The lens in the human eye consists of unique cells known as lens fibers that contain water and proteins called crystallins. These let light pass through the lens. Aging causes abnormal development in the lens causing cataract.

Eye drops and eye exercise do not prevent cataract formation and there is no sufficient evidence supporting that it may slow down progress either.

Let’s learn how to prevent cataract to some extent or to slow down its development.                  

  • Nutrition and Diet strategies:

Information supports that having a rich nutritional diet with dark coloured fruits, vegetables (rich in lutein and zeaxanthin), fish with in omega 3 helps in decreasing the progression of cataracts.

  • Wellness management strategies:

Regular check on the potentially interrelated personal factors such as:

  • Regular check up and control on blood pressure is important. Stress being a risk factor need to be kept in control.
  • Diabetes: Maintenance of healthy blood glucose levelscould prevent the onset of cataract.
  • Obesity: Maintenance of healthy weight through exercise etc.
    • Other external conditions :
  • Radiation exposure like X rays and gamma irradiation to be minimized.
  • Protection of eyes from eye injury to avoid Traumatic cataracts.
  • Sunlight: Moderate sunlight exposure at the right time is required for Vitamin D in the body and helps in controlling Myopia but exposure to intense sunlight without sufficient protective measures like sunglasses with UV protection can be a risk factor for cataracts.
  • Medicines / Drug strategies:
  • Use of steroid medicines– It has been observed that higher doses of steroid (prednisone and cortisone) along with longer usage could be a risk factor for posterior subcapsular cataracts.
  • Uses of statin– Certain studies have associated the link between long term statin usage and cataracts.
  • Homeopathy eye drops (Cineraria Maritima) is used by some to delay progress
  • Lifestyle management strategies
  • Smoking- Avoid smoking to prevent the risk cataract.
  • Alcohol – Excessive amount of alcohol could increase the incidence of cataracts.
  • Eye care strategies:
  • Eye examination and test: Have frequent eye test to keep cataracts in check. Congenital cataract occur at birth can be detected if checked early.
  • Neglecting presbyopic conditions could lead to cataracts.

Atomic-scale views of an eye protein aquaporin zero (AQP0) has been recently discovered. This protein maintains transparency of the lens in the eye, which could potentially lead to new methods in cataract treatment and prevention.

Vision researches research progressively on the known and unknown prevention measures. With multiple factors responsible occurrence of cataracts can be minimized by a following a healthier lifestyle.

Do get in touch with us an appointment and more details.

You can prevent cataract occurrence from developing to a great extent nevertheless cataracts cannot be fully prevented but we can treat them effectively.

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