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Cataract Awareness Month

Cataract awareness month
Cataract is responsible for 51% of the world blindness, according to the World Health Organization. The United States has reached more than 25.7 million people that suffer from cataract. As the U.S. population continues to age, the number of those affected by cataract is increasing significantly.

Types of Cataracts:
Age-related: 95% of cataracts are age-related, usually after age 40.

Congenital: These are present at birth, usually caused by infection or inflammation during pregnancy; possibly inherited.

Traumatic: Lens damage from a hard blow, cut, puncture or chemical burn may cause cataracts.

Secondary: Some medicines, eye disease, eye infection, or diseases such as diabetes cause these cataracts.

Radiation: Cataracts can develop after exposure to some types of radiation.

To prevent cataracts:
1. See your eye doctor regularly– Schedule yearly eye exams to allow your eye care professional to look for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and other vision disorders. Early detection may save your sight!

2. Eat a diet rich in beneficial nutrients– Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals can help reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids might help shield your eyes from cataract development. Omega-3s are found in oily fish like salmon and sardines, as well as in flaxseeds.

3. Protect those eyes from the sun– Chronic sunlight exposure could increase your risk of cataracts. Makes sure to wear wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection when outside for extended periods.

4. Keep your diabetes under control– Those with diabetes are at greater risk for
developing cataracts. It is important to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.

5. Quit smoking– Smoking doesn't just impact your mouth and lung health but your eye health too. Research suggests that smoking doubles your chances of developing cataracts and the risk continues to grow based on how much you smoke.

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