Can Cataracts Be Prevented? Tips for Reducing Your Risk

Most people know at least one older person who either has cataracts or who has had cataract surgery. What’s less known is that sometimes cataracts can be prevented. Not everyone gets cataracts when they get older. How can you reduce your risk of developing cataracts in Champaign, IL?

Reducing Cataract Risk

The risk of developing age-related and secondary cataracts may be less likely to occur if a person makes certain lifestyle adjustments. However, if a person is in a high-risk category, lifestyle changes may not be enough to prevent cataracts. Nevertheless, it’s worth reducing the risk of cataracts, even by a little. Consider:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing or eliminating alcohol intake
  • Reducing sugar intake
  • Managing diabetes
  • Exercising regularly
  • Minimizing exposure to UV rays
  • Minimizing exposure to blue light

What Causes Cataracts?

Researchers don’t actually know the exact reason why cataracts develop. It’s known that cataracts develop as a result of protein buildup on the lens of the eye. Since eyesight relies on light entering the eyes through the lens, this protein buildup results in partial or total vision loss. The cloudy or blurry vision that cataract victims experience is due to the cataract blocking the entry of light.

Four Types of Cataracts

There are actually four different categories of cataracts.

  1. Congenital cataracts are either present at birth, or develop very early in childhood, and are typically present in both eyes.
  2. Trauma-related cataracts develop after an eye injury or, in some cases, after eye surgery.
  3. Secondary cataracts occur as a symptom of a medical condition, like diabetes or sometimes as a result of steroid use.
  4. Age-related cataracts occur for unknown reasons, but have been linked to certain risk factors as explained below.

Note that although these are different categories of cataracts, they would all be treated in the same way, which is lens replacement.

Early symptoms of cataracts are difficult to detect without the help of an eye doctor in Champaign, IL. Contact us to book a comprehensive cataract evaluation today.

Do I Have Cataracts? An FAQ

Cataracts can impact your vision at night and during the day. While cataracts can eventually take away your ability to see, in their early stages, they may do little to impact your visual acuity. To understand what a cataract is, and to determine whether you have cataracts, it’s helpful to see an eye doctor in Champaign, IL. If you believe you may have cataracts, here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens. Usually, this lens is clear. As the cataract becomes severe, it will become so cloudy that it can cause blindness.

How Can You Tell If You Have Cataracts?

The best way to tell if you have cataracts is to get a cataracts evaluation in Champaign IL. Your eye doctor can tell you whether you have cataracts and, if so, what the eye doctor recommends doing abut it.

Cataracts is a treatable condition, but many eye doctors will not recommend eye surgery until the condition is bad enough to warrant it. Until then, most eye doctors will simply recommend that their patients return for regular check-ups to ensure that their patient is safe.

Is It Safe to Drive With Cataracts?

You can drive with cataracts as long as your eye doctor has told you that you can. Your cataract may require you to return to the eye doctor to get new glasses frequently. As long as you keep up with eye doctor appointments, have gotten new prescription lenses whenever they’re needed, and your eye doctor has told you that you may continue driving, then you may.

Want to know more about cataracts? Call Champaign Eye Professionals to make an appointment. We can answer your questions.

How Can I Know If I Have Cataracts?

Cataracts sound scary, but they don’t have to be. Knowing the signs that you have cataracts can help you determine when it’s time to see an eye doctor. Getting treatment early is important for your vision and safety. The good news is that cataracts are treatable, provided that you see your eye doctor in Champaign IL.

What Are Cataracts

A cataract is just a cloudy lens that gets in the way of clear vision. As the cataract grows, the cloudiness becomes worse. Cataracts don’t necessarily develop together or in perfect symmetry with each other – one eye may have a more severe cataract than the other. To manage this, your doctor may prescribe corrective lenses that treat each eye differently.

Signs of Cataracts

Below are some of the most common signs of cataracts:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Noticing halos around lights
  • Need for increasingly bright light when reading
  • Colors getting faded or yellowed
  • Need for increasingly strong prescription in corrective lenses

What to Do If You Think You Have Cataracts

If you think you have cataracts, the first thing that you should do is contact your eye doctor for cataract services in Champaign IL. Your eye doctor can diagnose your condition and let you know if you have cataracts.

If you do have cataracts, your eye doctor will likely start by prescribing stronger corrective lenses to help with your problem. As the cataracts continue to progress, your eye doctor may eventually recommend corrective surgery to fix the problem.

For more information about how to manage cataracts and other common eye problems, contact Champaign Eye Professionals. We can diagnose your condition and recommend treatments to help improve your vision.

How to Find the Best Sunglasses for Cataract Prevention

By the time people reach 80 years old, at least half of them either have cataracts or have undergone cataract surgery. Many who show up for cataract treatment in Champaign, IL are surprised to learn that UV exposure has a lot to do with cataract development. With this in mind, finding the right sunglasses for cataract prevention becomes really important. Take a look at a few tips to find the best sunglasses to lower your risk of cataracts.

1. UV-Blocking Capabilities

When shopping for sunglasses to protect yourself from cataracts, you will want optimal UV protection. Make sure the sunglasses protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The best sunglasses can offer up to 100 percent UV protection.

2. Embedded UV Blocking Build

Sunglasses can have a UV-protective tint, or they can have the actual UV protection built right into the lens. The latter is going to offer the best level of protection. Further, polarized lenses are a good option because they have slightly reflective lenses that help to reduce glare from the sun.

3. Larger Frames

Sunglasses should always protect the front of your eyes. However, sunlight and damaging UV rays can also slip in around the sides of the frames. The goal should be to have glasses that keep light out from all angles. Therefore, larger frames with lenses that fit closer to your eyes can be the best option.

4. Proper Fit

Talk to a Champaign, IL Eye Doctor for Advice

Even though cataracts are common, they are also preventable in most cases. If you would like to know more about your risks of cataracts or if you believe you have cataracts, a Champaign eye doctor can help. Reach out to us at Champaign Eye Professionals to schedule an appointment.

Often Overlooked Risk Factors for Cataracts

Before you have to seek cataract treatment in Champaign, IL, you may be able to take steps to lower your risks enough that you never need the procedure. Most people face several risk factors for cataract development, but most people also don’t know all about the risks. Take a look at some of the most common, but also commonly overlooked, risks for cataracts.

High-Sodium Diet

Research has shown that people who eat a diet with a lot of salt see an increased risk of cataract development with an actual ratio of 2.4. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realize that excess salt intake has anything to do with cataract development. This is a perfect reason to keep your sodium intake in check.

Excessive UV Exposure

When your eye doctor tells you that wearing sunglasses is important to protect your visual health, this is important advice to heed for sure. However, what you may not know is excessive UV exposure can actually heighten your risks of having cataracts. So, when you head outdoors, be sure to wear good UV-protectant sunglasses.


In one study, smokers had a 21 percent increase in the risk of eventually having to undergo cataract surgery. Smoking in itself puts your vision at risk, possibly even increasing your risks of other eye health conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and more. Therefore, protecting your vision is an extremely important reason to stop smoking.

Discuss Cataract Risks with a Champaign, IL Optometrist

Even though cataract surgery is highly effective for treating cataracts, it is always best to monitor your risks and take preventative steps. A Champaign, IL eye doctor can help you pin down the risks that are most possible in your personal health situation. Reach out to us at Champaign Eye Professionals to schedule an appointment.

Common Eye Conditions: Cataracts

Many changes happen to our bodies as we grow older, and some affect our vision. One common condition that’s often brought about by normal aging is cataracts. If you’re experiencing sudden changes in your vision, a trip to your eye doctor in Champaign, IL, is recommended.

What Is a Cataract?

When a cloudy film forms over the lens of your eye, you may be diagnosed with a cataract. Cataracts affect your vision and make it difficult to perform routine tasks, such as driving, reading, or using your computer. If you have a cataract, you’ll want to have it removed so vision can be restored.

How Do I Know If I Have Cataracts?

If you have cataracts, you may not understand why it’s becoming more and more difficult to see clearly, but you’ll definitely know something is changing with your vision. The symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Dim or blurry vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Seeing ‘halos’ around bright lights
  • Being bothered by glare

You may have one symptom, or many, depending on how far your cataract has advanced. The good news is that this is a fairly common condition your eye doctor can diagnose and treat.

Are Cataracts Easily Treated?

Usually, simple surgery is required to treat cataracts. Cataract surgery involves having the cloudy lens in your eye removed and replaced with a new artificial lens. This surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you won’t need a hospital stay. You will need to have someone drive you home after your surgery, however. You may also experience mild discomfort for a few days following your procedure, but afterward, you’ll be able to see much better.

To learn more about diagnosis and treatment of cataracts in Champaign, IL, contact Champaign Eye Professionals today.