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Risk Factors for Developing Cataracts: Tips for Patients By ksmmdeye on March 08, 2017

A man undergoing an eye examCataracts are a common issue that tends to affect the elderly but can also occur in younger individuals. In very rare cases, cataracts may be congenital. This clouding of the lenses of the eyes can lead to blurry or hazy vision, but it is potentially preventable.

Our team can perform safe and effective removal of cataracts at our West Orange practice, though we do often stress preventative care to our patients. With that in mind, let's look at some risk factors and discuss what can be done to help reduce your chances of developing cataracts.

Excessive Sun Exposure

The ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause many different health problems. Excessive sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, for example, and it can also increase your risk of developing cataracts. Be sure to wear sunglasses when outside. Wearing a hat with a brim can also be helpful for protecting your eyes.


Smoking can cause plenty of health conditions, including cancer, lung disease, and heart disease. Smoking can also increase your chances of developing cataracts later in life. Consider this another great excuse to quit for good. There are plenty of resources available if you are having trouble quitting on your own.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

If you drink too much, you have a much higher risk of liver disease and other unsavory health issues. Turns out that too much to drink can also lead to problems with your vision. Take things easy when you have alcohol. Use good judgment.


People tend to think of heart disease and joint pain when they hear the term “obesity related diseases”. There is also an increased risk of cataracts to consider. Try to maintain a healthy weight by eating healthy foods and exercising regularly.


If you have high blood pressure, the risk of heart problems goes up a great deal. Hypertension can also result in a risk of cataracts. Sometimes the hypertension accompanies obesity and smoking. This is yet another reason why you should eat healthy and exercise regularly.

Use of Corticosteroid Medications

Corticosteroid drugs are often uses to fight allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and lupus. As it turns out, using these kinds of medications can up your cataract risk. Be sure to only use these medications as directed by your doctor.

Past Eye Injuries

A previous eye injury increases your chances of developing cataracts later on in life. Previous eye infections and inflammation can also lead to risk of cataracts later on in life. The best way to avoid these issues is to wear eye protection and face protection when applicable.

Advanced Age

There's nothing that can prevent you from getting older, unfortunately. That said, by living a healthy lifestyle and noting some of the prevention tips above, you can have good vision well into your golden years.

Contact the Laser Vision Correction Center of New Jersey

For more information about cataracts, cataract surgery, and cataract prevention, be sure to contact our team of eye care specialists today. The team at our practice will work closely with you to ensure you receive expert eye care the helps address all of your concerns.

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Laser Vision Correction Center of New Jersey office

Laser Vision Correction Center of New Jersey

Dr. Kenneth S. Miller is a board-certified ophthalmologist with 40 years of experience serving the Northern New Jersey area. He is a member of several professional organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery

To schedule a consultation at our practice, contact us online or call us in Whippany, NJ, at (973) 325-3300.

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