Risk Factors

Who is at Risk for Cataracts?

Cataracts develop as you age. The older you are, the greater the risk. Over the age of 70, almost everyone has some clouding in the lens of the eye. The best way to slow the development of cataracts is through healthy lifestyle choices such as:
  • Wearing sunglasses and a hat when outdoors
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Taking antioxidant supplements like vitamins A, C and E
  • Quitting smoking
  • Managing diabetes and heart disease
  • Avoiding toxic chemicals
Many studies suggest that exposure to ultraviolet light is associated with cataract development. Most eye care practitioners agree that the most important action you can take to prevent cataracts is to wear sunglasses and a hat outside to reduce your exposure to UV rays. Other types of radiation may also contribute to cataract development. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may increase your chance of developing cataracts, but further research is needed to confirm the effects of HRT on cataracts. Living a healthy lifestyle goes a long way toward cataract prevention. 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. On the other hand, having heart disease or diabetes may increase your risk. Studies published in 2002 and 2004 have also found lead exposure to be a risk factor. Cataract Symptoms > Cataract Surgery >