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3 habits linked to a lower risk of cataracts

Healthy behaviors may help keep your vision clear

Like a dirty window, cataracts can obscure your view — making your world look blurry and dull.

Can you do anything to prevent this common eye condition from happening to you? You may be able to — and the sooner you begin, the better.

How cataracts start

The lens is a clear part of the eye behind the pupil. It helps focus light onto the retina. As we age, proteins in the lens can clump together and form a small hazy spot that gradually gets bigger.

Large cataracts can make it difficult to do activities such as driving and reading — and may call for surgery.*

Think prevention: 1-2-3

There’s no guarantee. But you may be able to help delay or prevent cataracts with these steps:

  1. Shade them.

    Year-round, wear sunglasses to shield against damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. A wide-brimmed hat helps keep UV light out of eyes too.

    Quick tip:

    Shopping for shades? Look for these essentials.Opens a new window

    Opens a new window
  2. Set your sights on eating right.

    Go for plant-rich plates. Research suggests the nutritious substances in leafy, green veggies, fruits and other healthy foods may help ward off cataracts.

    Quick tip:

    Eat more greens. See “Build a better salad! 5 super-easy steps” for tasty tips.

  3. If you smoke, stop.

    Lighting up speeds the growth of cataracts.

    Quick tip:

    Get inspired to quit for good. Study up on some of the harmful substances in cigarette smoke, from arsenic to lead.

 

What to do next

Get your eyes checked! Comprehensive eye exams can help spot cataracts early, along with other serious and silent eye diseases. Ask your doctor how often you should have an eye exam.*

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