Binetter Eye Centre

Can you prevent cataracts from progressing?


Can you prevent cataracts from progressing?

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in adults globally and based on findings for the Medibank Better Health Index, over 700,000 Australians are currently suffering from cataracts

Additionally, statistics show that for the past six years, cataracts cases have been on the rise and are expected to continue as so. It is, therefore, important to be adequately informed about the eye condition that is cataracts.


What are cataracts?

A cataract refers to a clouding of either the lens or the surrounding fluid in the eye. This clouding is caused by a build-up of the proteins within the lens of the eye. As this cloudy mass grows, it impairs your vision by reducing the amount of light that passes to the retina of the eye. If untreated, cataracts can gradually result in blindness.

Before blindness occurs, individuals with cataracts may experience:

  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • Double vision
  • Trouble reading especially in dim light
  • Challenge driving at night due to the glare from headlights

What are the risk factors of cataracts?

Cataracts can form in one or both eyes. And as we grow older, they may become inevitable due to the natural aging progression of the body. As such, older people above the age of 70 years old are more prone to cataracts. However, young adults can also develop cataracts. 

In addition to natural aging, the following factors can put you at risk of developing cataracts:

  • Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Previous eye injury or eye inflammation
  • Excessive unprotected exposure to the sun
  • Family history of cataracts
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroid medication e.g., in the treatment of arthritis, asthma, severe allergies, etc.

Can you prevent cataracts from progressing?

As previously mentioned, cataracts develop due to the build-up of proteins in the eye’s lens. And while this is a naturally occurring process, there are steps you can take to prevent your cataracts from developing to the point of impairing your vision. 

Here are a few tips on how you can prevent cataracts from progressing:

Lead a healthy lifestyle that climates you from being a candidate in the majority of the risk factors. This means quitting smoking and alcohol consumption. Having a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and other sources of vitamins and minerals to prevent lifestyle diseases and conditions such as obesity and high blood pressure.

Avoid excessive exposure to the sun without protective gear on your eyes such as polarized sunglasses or photochromic lenses.

Avoid medication whose side effects enhance the progression of cataracts as well as the use of steroid eye drops except when prescribed by a doctor.

How to remove cataracts in the eye?

When cataracts develop to the point of threatening your vision, cataract surgery is often recommended to get rid of cataracts. Typically, cataract surgery removes the clouded lens of the eye and replaces it with an artificial clear intraocular lens. This procedure takes only 30 minutes at maximum after which your eyesight will be successfully restored.

In Australia, a majority of people have been treated for cataracts way before their eyesight deteriorated. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s advisable to schedule an appointment with your optometrist today for early detection of cataracts.

Learn more on Cataract Surgery



This article is not a substitute for a consultation with your surgeon. Before choosing to proceed with laser eye surgery your surgeon will have a detailed discussion with you about the right procedure and about the potential complications.