When a cataract forms, the clear lens of one’s eye becomes clouded over. People with cataracts see as though they are looking through a cloudy lens or a window covered in frost or fog. This can make it much more difficult to drive at night, to read or even to see someone’s facial expression.
Senior care agencies note that seniors who are suffering from cataracts may begin to notice symptoms such as vision that becomes cloudy, blurry or dim; declining nighttime vision; light sensitivity; sensitivity to glare; double vision; colors becoming faded or yellow; seeing halos around lights; and the frequent need to change eyewear prescriptions. Although at first the cloudy vision may only impact a small part of the lens and may not be particularly noticeable, if a cataract is present it will continue to grow until the vision loss becomes more noticeable. If any of these symptoms are observed, an eye doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.
There are no studies that have shown clearly how to prevent cataracts, or even how to slow them down. However, doctors and senior care agencies have found that some strategies may be helpful, including:
- Having regular eye exams to help identify eye problems before the condition escalates.
- Stopping smoking to minimize risks.
- Reducing alcohol consumption, as excessive use of alcohol can increase one’s chances of developing cataracts.
- Using sunglasses when outside as the suns’ ultraviolet light may help cause cataracts to develop.
- For individuals with diabetes or other conditions that seem to increase the risk of cataracts, making sure to follow health care professionals’ advice for managing the condition.
- Exercising and eating a healthy diet to maintain or get to a healthy weight.
- Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables to get all the vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants needed for good eye health.
Although there is no guarantee that using these strategies will prevent the development of cataracts, senior care agencies indicate that they are good health care strategies that are useful in developing good all-around health and can help improve and prevent a wide variety of conditions.