When someone has cataracts, it is as if a cloud is placed over their eye. Your vision will become blurry, and colors are not as bright as they once were. You could get cataracts in one or both eyes. Below are some things that can put you at risk for developing this eye condition.
Your Eye Color
The color of your eyes can play a part in developing cataracts. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, people that have dark eyes have a greater risk of developing cataracts. This is because dark colors tend to absorb more light, which heats up the eye lens. If you have dark eyes, you should make sure you wear UV protected sunglasses when you go outside. The sunglasses should say that they have 100% UV protection, which allows them to block both UVB and UVA rays. You should choose glasses that have large frames to block the sun's rays even more. Along with sunglasses, wear a wide-brimmed visor or hat.
If you smoke, you should stop for many reasons, including the reason that they can cause cataracts. In fact, a smoker is three times more likely to develop cataracts when compared to people that do not smoke.
You likely know that cigarettes are toxic, with compounds like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, tar, and hydrocarbons. All of these things can be harmful to your body, including your eyes. Doctors have found that the smoke that gets into your eyes when you are smoking, can cause heavy metals, such as cadmium, to build up in the eye. Smoking can also cause oxidation, which makes changes to the cells of the eye lens.
If you are having problems quitting smoking, keep trying, because many people do not become successful at quitting on their first try. You can also get some help by using things like nicotine gum or the nicotine patch. Your doctor can also prescribe a medication to you to lessen your cravings for a cigarette.
Anyone can develop cataracts, but the risk for someone that has diabetes is 60% greater. Besides this, someone with diabetes can develop cataracts when they are younger, and in many cases they will progress much quicker.
This happens because glucose (sugar) can develop in the lens that causes the lens to swell, which affects your vision. A substance call sorbitol can also build up in the lens. All of this can lead to cataracts.
The most important thing you can do is to see your eye doctor on a regular basis. You could be developing cataracts and not even notice it, as in the beginning there is often no symptoms. Catching the problem early can give you a better outcome. However, if you do require cataract surgery, the right eye doctor can make a world of difference.