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Knowing the Cataract Risk Factors:

Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss in the United States. Almost everyone who lives a long life will develop cataracts at some point. As more Americans live into their 70s and beyond, we all need to know the risk factors.

Know your risk factors. In addition to having a family history of cataract, having diabetes, or being a smoker, other factors can increase your risk of developing a cataract.

These include extensive exposure to sunlight, serious eye injury or inflammation, and prolonged use of steroids, especially combined use of oral and inhaled steroids.

Reduce your risks. Use UV-rated sunglasses when outdoors and add a wide-brimmed hat when spending long hours in the midday sun. One of the best things anyone can do for their eyes and overall health is to quit smoking or never start. People with diabetes can reduce cataract risk by carefully controlling their blood sugar through diet, exercise and medications if needed.
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