What can I do to prevent cataracts?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,493
    Laura D. Cook, M.D., Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, explains how cataracts affect your vision including how to prevent cataracts.

    Host: What can I do to prevent cataracts?

    Dr. Laura D. Cook: Your options are limited in terms of prevention. If it's associated with a disease process like diabetes, controlling your blood sugar to try and prevent these kinds of complications or if the complication of an early cataract will be helpful and decrease earlier cataract formation or necessitate cataract treatment earlier. In terms of steroid use, limiting steroid use to patients who truly need it for poison ivy, for sun burns, for things like that, but there are many patients who steroids are just an amazing drug and they treat the condition and then we treat the side effects if it's necessary, and then lastly, the easiest thing you can do is wear sunglasses. It's been shown that sun exposure accelerates cataract formation and it's a cumulative exposure. Everybody is going to develop cataracts as they age, but they may develop at a younger, the more sun exposure there is and so in terms of sunglasses, wearing them at a young age and being consistent about using sunglasses with UV protection is important.