This month we’re taking part in Cataract Awareness Month with a series of blog posts to help raise awareness for cataracts, especially in children. As part of this series, this blog is going to look at the simple ways you can help prevent cataracts.

Although there is no scientific evidence to help prevent the formation of cataracts, these top five tips can help reduce the risk of your child developing them.

See a doctor regularly

Maintaining regular checkups with your child’s doctor will help to catch any early formation of cataracts. This is monitored carefully anyway up to the age of two months when your child will be having regular check-ups. As they get older, don’t let those checkups slip off your radar.

Regular check-ups will not only be able to identify early signs of cataracts but can have significant health benefits in determining any other illnesses or conditions that your child may have. By identifying the symptoms early on, your child will have a better chance of minimising the amount of damage caused.

Give them the right nutrients

Providing your child with the right nutrients will mean that their body has everything it needs to develop and function correctly. Pay particular attention to the recommended daily amount of nutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals.

A variety of fruit and vegetables can help provide your child with the right vitamins and minerals, as well as providing them with meals rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish. Avoid a diet rich in carbohydrates as research have shown that this can in fact speed up cataract progression.

Learn How to Teach Your Child Healthy Eating Habits

Dehydration can also increase the risk of developing cataracts in children. If your child has diabetes, they are also at a higher risk of developing cataracts so it’s important that you speak to your doctor about this.

Protect from the sun

If you’re out and enjoying the sunshine, then be sure to protect your child’s eyes. Keep them shaded from ultraviolet light to minimise the risk of causing cataracts in children. Although this is unlikely to have an immediate effect on your child’s eyes, prolonged exposure could be incredibly damaging.

Learn How to Protect Your Child’s Vision during Summer Months

But don’t starve them

Although it’s important to prevent ultraviolet light from damaging your child’s eyes, it’s also important that they get the right kind of light and the nutrients this provides to their eyes. Starving their eyes of the right light could lead to difficulties in development and so it’s important to strike a right balance.

Check medicinal side effects

If your child needs to take any medicine for any reasons, it’s important to check the medicinal side effects first. There are a number of commonly prescribed medicines that can speed up the progression of cataracts in children and so being aware of this will enable you to be more careful with what you give to your child.

If you find that a specific medicine that can speed up cataract development is essential for a particular type of treatment, then it becomes even more important for them to wear sunglasses and avoid direct sunlight, as well as considering additional eye exams.

Read previous posts:
Causes of Cataracts in Children & How it Affects Your Child’s Vision
Common Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts in Children