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.