Cataracts prevent

An ounce of prevention

To minimize your risk of developing cataracts, protect your eyes from ultraviolet light by avoiding direct sunlight and by wearing dark sunglasses and a wide-brim hat when outdoors. Since free radicals appear to be the leading cause of cataracts associated with aging, eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help protect the eyes.

Of course, regular eye exams are necessary to detect and treat cataracts in their early stages. Have your eyes tested by an ophthalmologist at least every five years.

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Cataracts tend to impair vision gradually, making it difficult to notice slight changes in vision. Regular eye exams are necessary to catch the disease in its early stages. Symptoms of more advanced cataracts include dull, fuzzy vision; glare in bright light (the cataract scatters the light before it reaches your retina); double vision; and changes in color vision (the cataract emphasizes yellows and reduces violets and blues). In addition, if you find yourself suddenly able to read without your regular reading glasses, get your eyes checked. This is a sign that your lenses are changing shape.

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