Cataracts are extremely common, especially in older adults. Most people
have very small cataracts by the time they are middle-aged, but in most
cases, they are so tiny that they don’t require
ophthalmological treatment. Despite the prevalence of cataracts, however, there are steps
you can take to reduce your risk of getting them. These tips can also
help keep minor cataracts from becoming major vision problems.
Cataracts are significant problems for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Not only are diabetics more prone
to cataracts, but they are also more likely to get them at a young age
and more likely to have severe cataracts. Good blood glucose control can
help mitigate some of these risks. Work with your endocrinologist to keep
blood glucose in check and see an ophthalmologist annually for a diabetic
eye exam to catch any developing cataracts in their early stages.
Smoking is devastating to your overall health, and it takes a particular
toll on your vision. If you smoke a pack of cigarettes per day, your risk
of getting cataracts is doubled. The types of cataracts most smokers get
are called nuclear cataracts, which are found in the nuclear portion of
the lenses. Cataracts in this region are particularly severe and interfere
with vision more dramatically than other types.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity itself doesn’t directly cause cataracts, but it can cause
other conditions that impact eye health, like high blood pressure and
type 2 diabetes. If you maintain a healthy weight, your risk of getting
cataracts will be reduced.
You can’t completely avoid all risk of cataracts—if they do develop,
Dr. Mark Hornfeld is here to help. At Dr. Hornfeld’s NYC ophthalmology practice, we
offer cutting-edge care for cataracts, glaucoma, and much more. To make
an appointment, call (646) 502-4142.