How to prevent cataracts

Cataracts are a common affliction in our local population which affects the eyesight older people. Google Health has lots of useful links on this topic. Many of these links though are about understanding cataracts and treatment, including cataract surgery. But how about prevention? Most of you blog readers are still young and here are some tips on cataract prevention (from Florida Eye Centre):

1. Protect the eyes from trauma. An injury to the eye can cause cataracts to form almost immediately. Wear safety glasses when the situation calls for them.

2. Protect the eyes from the potential side effects of certain medication, such as prolonged use of steroids, tranquilizers, and psoriasis medication, which can cause cataracts when taken in large doses over a long period of time.

Please seek advice from your medical doctor and ophthalmologist when taking these medications on a daily basis.

3. All diabetics should keep their blood sugar/diabetes under tight control. Without a doubt, diabetics are known to get faster growing cataracts at an earlier age than other adults.

4. Protect your eyes from ultraviolet sun rays. Ultraviolet rays are harmful to the eye just like they are to the skin. They accelerate the development of cataracts. Adults and even children who are frequently exposed to the sun would be wise to wear ultraviolet protective sunglasses outside. This has been shown to slow cataract development.

5. Antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene have been shown to slow the development of cataracts. One-a-day vitamins, to insure intake of 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance, could help.

6. If there is uncontrolled diabetes, injury to the eye, or visual symptoms of decreased reading vision, patients should ask their medical doctor to have an ophthalmologist specialist evaluate their problem to help restore sight and prevent blindness.

One interesting recent item reported by MedicalNewsToday is that Statin Use is Associated With Reduced Risk Of Common Type Of Cataract (statins are commonly used drugs to lower the cholesterol)

Barbara E. K. Klein, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, and colleagues analyzed data from the Beaver Dam Eye Study to determine if statin use is associated with a reduced risk of age-related cataract. The analysis included 1,299 persons who were examined as part of the study in 1998-2000 and were deemed to be at risk of developing nuclear cataract within 5 years.

A total of 210 persons developed incident nuclear cataract in the interval from 1998-2000 to 2003-2005. The five-year incidence of nuclear cataract was 12.2 percent in statin users compared with 17.2 percent in nonusers; the odds of developing cataract were 40 percent lower for statin users after adjusting for several factors



Malaysian physician, haematologist, blogger, web and tech enthusiast