Prevention of cataracts

The purpose of classifying cataracts is to help you understand the different causes, so that you can educate your community about those causes which are preventable.

What specific causes of cataract can you prevent or delay from causing visual impairment?

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Did you say poorly controlled diabetes mellitus, eye injury, or direct exposure to sunlight, smoke and fumes? You are right!

How would you advise people to reduce their risk of developing cataracts?

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By getting treatment if they are diabetic, because effective blood-sugar control delays the progression of cataracts; by shading their eyes with dark glasses to protect them from the harmful rays from the sun; and by not smoking cigarettes, and ventilating their room if smoke from a cooking fire is collecting in the house.

Though there is no really effective way of preventing cataracts at present, interventions such as these can significantly alter the disease burden of cataracts by minimising exposure to factors that promote them to develop. A healthy lifestyle might also help, just as it helps prevent other non-communicable diseases: eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise and rest, and do not smoke or drink much alcohol.

Last modified: Monday, 23 June 2014, 5:25 PM