Cataracts: Assessing the Risk Factors for Cataract and Ways to Prevent Them

FAMILY HEALTH INSURANCE



One of the things we all have to come to terms with is ageing. As a person grows older, he or she begins to notice changes in the body. Vision problems like cataract are common among senior citizens and even cause a lot of inconvenience in performing day-to-day work. Among the age-related, eye disorders are cataracts that can, in the worst case, lead to blindness. Experts say that there is no sure shot way to prevent the disease. However, cataract prevention or delaying its onset is possible by controlling some risk factors. We will discuss them in this article. 

How do Cataracts Occur?

Cataracts occur when the lens tissues of the eye become thicker and lose transparency owing to building up of a protein mass, thus, clouding the vision. Cataracts develop slowly, and one may not notice their presence unless there is a noticeable difficulty in seeing things. 

Besides a cloudy or blurry vision, nearsightedness (especially in senior citizens), double vision in the affected eye, colours appearing faded or yellowish, sensitivity to brightness, and problems with night vision are the common symptoms of cataract. 

Know the Risk Factors

We mention some of the risk factors for cataract: 

  • Family History of Eye Problems: Persons who have a family medical history of cataract or genetic disorder must be watchful. 
  • Specific Medical Conditions: the chances of cataract increases if one is suffering from medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension
  • Excess Exposure to Sunlight: Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is harmful to the body, and one should avoid it as it may increase the risk of cataract among other problems.  
  • Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Besides other health risks, smoking and consumption of alcohol in excessive quantities can also be a risk factor for cataract. 
  • Long-term use of Corticosteroid Medication: Prolonged use of these medicines can increase the risk of cataract. 
  • Ageing: Cataract is more likely to affect a person who is aged as there is a likelihood of other health disorders too. 
  • Deficiency of Vitamin C: Poor intake of Vitamin C can be a contributing factor for cataract. 
  • Eye Injury in the Past: Like certain diseases, trauma, eye injury or inflammation may also increase the risks. Also, if one has undergone eye surgery, they may be at risk. 

Ways to Prevent Cataracts

  1. Eating Nutrient-rich Foods: Eating foods rich in antioxidants, including Vitamin C and E are known to prevent cataract or slow its growth. So, include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet along with nuts like almonds that are rich in vitamin E.
  2. Regular Eye Check-ups: Going for routine eye check-ups is the best way to detect eye disorders at an early stage and prevent any complication. Not only cataracts, one can also find out signs of glaucoma and other vision problems.
  3. Protecting Eyes from Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to sunlight is harmful to the eyes and may increase the risk of cataracts. So, make sure you wear protective gear like a hat and sunglasses with UV protection.
  4. Keeping Diabetes under Check: Scientific research shows that people with diabetes are at higher risk of developing cataract. Besides, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can also cause other vision problems.
  5. Quit Unhealthy Habits: It is a well-known fact that smoking and excess intake of alcohol causes many health problems. Did you know they are risk factors for cataracts too? It is time to make some healthy changes to your lifestyle. 

>> Also Read: Some Unhealthy Habits you Must Get Rid of

Takeaway

Self-care is crucial in preventing many health problems. Before cataract begins to affect your daily life, it is better to take the preventive measures we discussed above. 

If you or your family member are a senior citizen and complain about blurred vision, it is not a time to ignore these symptoms. It could be a sign of cataract, and you would need to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor.  Thanks to medical advancements, cataract surgery is now convenient and safe than ever. However, it could be expensive, considering the rate at which healthcare costs are rising. So, make sure you have opted for adequate health insurance for cataract, which will cover the medical expenses, including in-patient hospitalisation and surgery costs, subject to policy terms and conditions.

Choose a health insurance policy by Care Health Insurance (formerly Religare Health Insurance). 

Disclaimer: The information given in this article is only for reference purposes. We recommend consulting a medical practitioner.