Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye due to protein build up. There are several different types of cataracts, but the most common are age-related cataracts. The development of these begins around the age of 40. Treatment for cataracts can include surgery. Your eye surgeon will remove the cataract and then replace it with a clear artificial lens.
You may notice a cataract if you are noticing blurry vision, faded colors or halos at night. Particularly if you are over the age of 40 or if you are diabetic, it is important to have your eyes checked by your eye doctor.
Cataracts are very prevalent. There are more than 24 million Americans over the age of 40 with cataracts, and more than half of people over the age of 65 experience the condition.
While cataracts cannot be prevented completely, there are a few things you can do to slow their progression. Avoid tobacco use and exposure to UV rays. Incorporate a healthy diet and exercise into your daily activities. Good foods to include in your diet are antioxidants like vitamins E and C, beta carotene and selenium. Find ways to incorporate dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, butternut squash or even sunflower seeds and almonds into your diet.
Make sure to visit your eye doctor regularly to be checked for cataracts as you age, especially if you are diabetic or have other health issues. While cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness, they are treatable and your optometrist can advise a course of treatment to restore your sight.