Risk Factors

Who is at Risk ?

Cataracts develop as you age, so the older you are the greater the risk. Over the age of 70, almost everyone has some clouding in the lens of the eye.

Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to slow the development of cataracts

  • Wear sunglasses and a hat when you’re outside
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Take antioxidant supplements (vitamins A, C & E)
  • Quit smoking
  • Manage diabetes and heart disease
  • Avoid toxic chemicals
Many studies suggest that exposure to ultraviolet light is associated with cataract development. Most eye care practitioners say the most important thing you can do to prevent cataracts is to wear sunglasses and a hat outside to reduce your exposure. Other types of radiation may also be causes. Researchers say additional studies are needed to confirm whether hormone replacement therapy (HRT) significantly increases your chance of developing cataracts. Living a healthy lifestyle goes a long way toward preventing cataracts. Some eye care practitioners believe that a diet high in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene (vitamin A), selenium and vitamins C and E, may slow cataract development. Meanwhile, having heart disease or diabetes may increase your risk. Studies published in 2002 and 2004 found lead exposure to be a risk factor.