Treatment & Prevention – How to prevent cataracts

There isn’t thought to be a way to actually prevent cataracts. However, there are a variety of things that doctors think can be done to help reduce the risk of getting cataracts(1).

  • Stop smoking – smoking can increase the risk of cataracts. If you need help to quit, contact your doctor and they’ll be able to advise you on which of the many options is likely to work best for you.
  • Drink less alcohol – drinking excessive amounts of alcohol has also been linked to increased risk of cataracts, so reducing the amount that you drink can help to reduce your risk of cataracts.
  • Wear sunglasses – it’s thought that UV rays from the sun can contribute to the development of cataracts. By wearing sunglasses that reduce UVB rays when you’re outside, you can reduce the damage that UV rays cause to your eyes and potentially reduce the risk of cataracts, as well.
  • Have regular eye tests – although having eye tests won’t prevent cataracts, you’ll give yourself and your optician the best chance to detect them – and other eye problems – in their early stages.
  • Eat healthily – eating a healthy, varied diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables ensures that you’re getting the vitamins and nutrients necessary for both eye health and your general health and wellbeing. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that help to maintain the health of your eyes. Studies have shown that eating a vitamin and mineral rich diet, containing lots of fruit and vegetables, is associated with reduced risk of cataracts.

So, although, you can’t categorically prevent cataracts, there are ways to help reduce the risk of getting them.



  1. Mayo Clinic: Cataracts & NHS UK: Age-related cataracts

Other related questions

  • Glasses – Why do I need glasses after cataract surgery?

  • Surgery – What does an eye look like after cataract surgery?

  • Surgery – How is a cataract operation performed?

  • Near-sighted – Does cataract surgery correct near-sightedness?

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