Cataracts are no fun to live with. As time goes on, it's harder to read and write. You aren't able to see your kids and grandchildren as clearly as you'd like. And you may even worry about losing your eyesight altogether. If you have yet developed cataracts or are in the beginning stages, there are a couple of lifestyle habits you can nix to decrease your chance of further eyesight degeneration:
While you're well aware that smoking can cause serious health issues such as lung cancer, you may not realize that it can also negatively effect your eyesight. Not only has smoking been linked to macular degeneration, but it is also considered a leading cause of the development of cataracts.
In fact, research shows that the risk of developing cataracts is doubled for regular smokers during their lifetime – and if you're a heavy smoker, you may be looking at three times the risk. And other eye problems are common among regular smokers such as conjunctivitis, uncomfortably dry eyes, and even optic nerve damage.
The best thing you can do for your eye health is stop smoking altogether. But even decreasing how much you smoke will decrease your chances of developing cataracts over time. Consider joining a support group if you have trouble quitting on your own.
The personal support and encouragement you get may be what it takes to make your quitting journey successful. It's also a good idea to make an appointment with a specialist to determine whether you've already started developing cataracts. If so, you can start treatments early while you work on quitting smoking to increase your chances of maintaining your eyesight as you age.
Heavy Alcohol Consumption
Another lifestyle habit that should be left behind if you're worried about developing cataracts is binge drinking or regular heavy alcohol consumption. Binge drinking five or more days out of any given month is considered heavy alcohol consumption by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. If you tend to binge drink, you may be damaging your optic nerves and paving a way for cataracts to develop.
Because toxins from alcohol build up in your blood stream when drinking, it's harder for nutrients to reach the nerves that are responsible for focusing your vision. If reading seems to be more difficult, the colors you see aren't as vibrant as you think they should be, or you have trouble focusing your eyes on a specific object, it's time to talk to a specialist about the possible development of cataracts. For more information on cataract treatment, contact a professional.Share