Cataracts tend to form on the lens of the eye as you age, creating a cloudy or blurry area. In reality, cataracts are simply clumps of protein that have failed to dissipate the way they should. Generally a problem for those over the age of 40, cataracts can afflict anybody.
Although no one seems to know what causes the protein to clump, you can do things to help your body prevent cataracts from forming. If you're concerned about cataracts, you should be doing these 6 things to help your body fight.
1. Sleep. Taking care of your body is important when trying to prevent cataracts. Medical News Today recommends getting "seven hours of quality sleep" each night as a preventive measure.
2. Stop smoking. Medical News Today states that smoking increases your chances of developing cataracts by three, so WebMD recommends giving up smoking to help prevent the development of cataracts.
3. Wear UV protection. You know you should slather your body in sunscreen, but put sunscreen on your eyes? The National Eye Institute says you should wear sunglasses or regular glasses with UV protection whenever you're outside. To protect your eyes from sunlight that comes down overhead, wear a wide-brimmed hat or visor.
4. Avoid steroids. Another recommendation from the National Eye Institute is to avoid taking steroids as much as possible. The steroids themselves tend to cause the protein to build faster on the lens.
5. Consume antioxidants. Vision Source states that eating fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants will help stave off cataracts. How do you know which ones to pick? The foods that have bright, deep colors are also rich in antioxidants: strawberries, grapes, oranges, green leafy veggies, etc.
6. Consume carotenoids. Another key cataract-fighting dietary component according to Vision Source is carotenoids. These can be found in fruits and vegetables that are red, green, orange, and yellow: pumpkins, squash, green leafy vegetables and tomatoes.
Nothing can take the place of regular eye exams, but giving your body the upper hand is always a good idea. By taking care of your eyes now, you may be saving yourself from cataract surgery in the future.