Cataract is a condition that’s usually associated with old age. People who have crossed the age of 40 are generally considered to be vulnerable to this troubling eye condition. But did you know that the onset of cataracts can happen not just in older people but in younger population as well? While it’s true that your eyes become more and more vulnerable to cataract with the age progression, it’s also true that average age for getting cataracts has been going down now. You may be below 40 in age and it’s possible that onset of cataract is already happening for you.

If you have been having problems with having a clear vision during the night time or if you have been having hazy vision that feels more pronounced in bright light, then this could be an indication towards cataracts.

So what’s the reason behind cataract affecting people at quite young ages? It’s because although most of the cataract related cases attribute their cause to age, cataract can be in fact caused by other factors too. Exposure of eyes to harmful UV radiations emitted by sun or other sources, family history of getting cataracts at an early age, having a lifestyle that involves heavy smoking and/or drinking alcohol, and health conditions like obesity, hypertension and diabetes are just some of the many reasons that can lead to occurrence of cataract at a young age. It’s also suggested by certain studies that cataracts can occur because of deficiencies of important nutrients like vitamin E, carotenoids, and vitamin C in the body.

If you have been taking medications like corticosteroids, chlorpromazine, phenothiazine-related, etc for an extended period of time now, then in that case too you are at an increased risk of developing cataracts early on. A past injury to the eye or an underlying disease may also turn out as reasons for cataracts.

As you can see there are various risk factors at play when it comes to cataracts. Many of these are also closely related to your dietary habits and lifestyle. While you may not be able to completely eliminate the risk of cataract for your eyes, there are certain steps that you can take towards improving your diet and lifestyle habits to at least reduce this risk to some extent.

Keep a good, safe distance from excessive smoking and alcohol consumption. It’s common knowledge how detrimental too much smoking and drinking alcohol can be for the general health, but these habits can wreak havoc on your eye health as well. Pay attention to what you are eating, making sure that the diet is rich in essential minerals, anti-oxidants, and vitamins that can be helpful in protecting your eyes against cataracts. Foods like green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits are good additions to your diet. Also wearing sunglasses that offer UV protection is also a must, it will go a long way in ensuring good eye health.

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