“Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in the eye that decreases vision by hindering light from passing through.”
This eye disease is a leading cause of blindness in Nigeria, affecting over 100,000 people annually. Although cataracts are often a natural result of aging and become more common after the age of 60, there are ways to reduce your risk of developing cataracts as you grow older. This article will explore how to prevent cataracts as you age.”
Tips to Prevent Cataracts as You Age
1. Always wear sunglasses
Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVA and UVB radiation. Sunglasses should be worn whenever you are outside, especially on sunny days.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially those high in antioxidants like leafy greens, can help prevent oxidative damage to the eyes that can lead to cataracts.
3. Quit smoking
Quitting smoking or avoiding it altogether can significantly lower the risk of developing cataracts, according to experts.
Smoking is known to release free radicals, which can harm healthy cells in the body. Antioxidant-rich foods can help counteract these effects, but avoiding tobacco smoke altogether is the most effective way to protect your eyes and overall health.
4. Reducing alcohol consumption
If you are looking for ways to avoid developing cataracts and enjoy alcohol, consider moderating your consumption. Limiting your alcohol intake to two standard drinks or less per day can reduce the risk of cataracts to the same level as not drinking at all.
There is no need to give up a glass of wine with dinner or a beer, but cutting back or even abstaining occasionally can benefit your eye health.
5. Exercise regularly
Regular physical activity has been linked to a reduced risk of developing cataracts. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day.
6. Get regular eye exams
Regular eye exams are important in detecting cataracts early, before they cause significant vision loss. If you have any concerns about your vision or are experiencing symptoms like blurred vision, double vision, or sensitivity to light, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
7. Avoid eye injuries
Injuries to the eyes can cause damage to the lens and eventually lead to the formation of cataracts. Taking proper care of eye injuries, even minor ones, can help prevent the development of trauma-induced cataracts in the future.
8. Monitoring your blood sugar levels
Monitoring Your Blood Sugar is Essential for Cataract Prevention It’s well-known that managing your blood sugar levels is crucial for individuals with diabetes, but it can also be effective in preventing cataracts. Studies show that individuals with uncontrolled diabetes are more prone to developing cataracts compared to those without diabetes.
High blood sugar levels over an extended period can cause the lenses in the eyes to become swollen. Furthermore, the eye lenses can convert excess blood sugar into sorbitol, leading to a decline in vision quality and an increased risk of developing cataracts.
What is the cost of cataract surgery in Nigeria?
The cost of cataract surgery in Nigeria can vary greatly and is determined by a few factors. These factors include the type of cataract surgery, the experience of the surgeon, and the location where the procedure is performed. On average, the cost of cataract surgery in Nigeria ranges from ₦50,000 to ₦500,000.
By implementing these strategies, you can help protect your eyes from cataracts and maintain good vision as you age. Remember, early detection and treatment are key, so don’t neglect your eye health.