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The lens is an integral part of our eyes that helps us see. Its primary job is to bring objects at varying distances into focus by changing its shape. As we age, this lens clouds over time, creating something called a cataract.

Cataracts happen to nearly everyone, and most often those over 60. Despite being one of the most treatable eye diseases, cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in Canada.

Symptoms of cataracts

When you start to develop cataracts, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Decreased night vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Film over eyes that will not clear

Causes of cataracts

Most cataracts develop slowly as we age; however, some cataracts form from other causes.

Cataracts can occur after injury or even surgery, but health conditions, like diabetes, can increase your risk of developing cataracts and other eye diseases. Some medications, like long-term steroid use, can also increase your risk. And, although rare, children can be born with cataracts.

Some other factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing cataracts include:

  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
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Preventing cataracts

There is no real way to completely prevent cataracts. But, you can slow how quickly they develop by wearing UV protection while outdoors or exposed to UV rays and eating eye-friendly foods:

  • Small red beans
  • Blueberries
  • Pecans
  • Red berries (cranberries, strawberries, raspberries)
  • Prunes
  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Dark green vegetables (kale, broccoli, etc.)

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Cataracts are easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you suspect you may have cataracts, or want to know more about cataract surgery, please book your appointment today. We would be more than happy to give you all the information you need on the management and treatment of cataracts!