It’s true, cataract is an eye condition that usually comes about with ageing. However, what most people don’t realize is that cataracts are becoming more prevalent in younger individuals. The truth of the matter is, apart from ageing, cataracts may also be triggered by unhealthy diet and habits. In fact, the number of younger patients coming in to our eye clinic in Singapore for cataract surgery has been on the rise over the past years.

Here’s good news, a few adjustments with your lifestyle can significantly help in keeping cataract from progressing. Save yourself from developing permanent vision loss by taking note of the following tips:

1. Avoid exposure to UV lights.

An ample dose of sun rays is good source of Vitamin D, but allowing yourself to be exposed for much more than needed will put yourself at risk to developing cataracts. Mr. Sun is a major source of ultraviolet (UV) rays that unfortunately increases cataract progression. This doesn’t mean that we’re suggesting you stay indoors at all times. What we’re saying is that you should do all means to protect yourself from UV exposure as much as possible, by sporting a pair of sunglasses or a stylish hat to protect your eyes.

2. Quit smoking.

Stop smoking. If you aren’t a smoker, it’s best not to even think about trying it. We all know too well how detrimental to your health smoking cigarettes is. Little do most people know, smoking also poses risks to one’s eye health. This includes triggering cataract. Try your best to quit smoking while you still can. As studies suggest, the longer you smoke, the higher chances you have of developing cataracts.

3. Always check for medicinal side effects.

A lot of medicines (for example steroids) available in the market have side effects that leads progression of cataracts. Even steroids that are taken as nasal sprays or inhalers can be a risk factor for developing cataracts. Ensure your own safety before taking any medication, and especially avoid self-medicating. Make a habit of asking your doctor whether it will give you any side effects.

4. Keep your sugar level under control.

Studies have shown that people who have diabetes are more prone to developing cataracts. This is why maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar is a must. It’s good for your eyes and your overall health. Avoid foods with too much sugar or carbohydrates to keep diabetes at bay.

5. Eat healthily.

Your choice of food can help reduce the risk of developing cataracts too, studies suggest. Include an ample amount of colourful fruits and leafy veggies into your diet. The nutrients and anti-oxidants that you get from these will help out in keeping an excellent eye health. Same with fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These are associated with the reduction of cataract progression.

6. Visit your eye doctor regularly.

Regular consultations will allow your eye doctor to find out whether there are symptoms that may suggest a developing cataract. The earlier a condition is detected, the higher chances there is in gaining your vision back. Don’t wait until you’re older and starting to experience some signs of cataract.

These simple, actionable tips will help you enjoy your pair of eyes for a lifetime. Follow these 6 tips and your eyes will thank you for it later. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. For more information about cataracts, talk to an ophthalmologist in Singapore today!