Cataracts are formed when the clear lens inside your eye becomes cloudy or misty. This is a gradual process that usually happens as we get older. It does not hurt. The early stages of a cataract do not necessarily affect your sight.
Have your eyes examined regularly
A regular eye exam can check for signs of illness such as diabetes, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Eat the right food
Your eyes can be kept healthy by eating a diet of fruits and vegetables, particularly spinach or kale. Certain fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut are also beneficial because the are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Give up smoking
Research has shown that smoking leads to an increased risk of developing cataracts, age related macular degeneration and optic nerve damage.
Wear your shades
The sun's ultraviolet rays can cause damage to your eyes. Therefore protect your eyes by using good quality sunglasses, look for those that block out 99% to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. It is also possible to get UV protection in your normal spectacle lenses, as us for details.
Floaters and Flashes
Floaters are very common and are usually harmless. They look like dark spots or strands that appear to float in front of the eye. There can also be flashes of light due to the movement of the gel within the eye.
Sometimes, an increase of floaters or flashes may be an indication of retinal detachment, which should be treated as soon as possible. This is more common as we get older, or in people who are short sighted or have had eye surgery.
Dry eye syndrome occurs when the tear ducts don't make enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. To try to relieve the irritation the eyes produce more tears, making the eyes water. Other symptoms include feelings of dryness, soreness that gets worse during the day and a feeling of grittiness in the eyes.
In more severe cases the eyelids may stick together on waking, vision may be temporarily blurred although this usually improves on blinking and eyes may become red and burning.
Treatment in most cases is by using lubricant eye treatments, often called artificial tears because they replace the missing water in the tear film.