A cataract is a clouding of the eye lens. This clouding, if left untreated, can lead to complications down the road. Particularly, cataracts can lead to blindness. While certain risk factors such as age cannot be changed, there are ways to help prevent cataracts. Here are a few:

• Protecting the eyes from UV rays: Wearing sunglasses when outside can help block damaging UV rays. This damage can lead to cataract formation.

• Keep blood sugar in check: Diabetics are more likely to develop cataracts.

• Cut back on alcohol: A little alcohol a day is fine, but long-term excessive drinking is thought to increase the risk of developing cataracts.

• Quit smoking: Smoking creates more free radicals in the eyes. These chemicals can increase the risk of developing cataracts.

• Eat a healthy diet: A balanced diet with vitamin C and antioxidants may help lower the risk of cataracts.

Eye health is important. Be sure to visit your eye doctor for regular checkups. He or she can keep track of any potential developments.

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