June 20, 2024

Care Nex

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Dr. Hussain’s five tips for eye health and cataracts prevention

2 min read

Dr. Fatima Maryam Hussain, MBBCh FRCPC is a Geriatrician in the Senior’s Health program at William Osler Health System (Osler). After achieving her medical degree at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dr. Hussain completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, Colorado, and her Geriatrics Fellowship at the University of Manitoba, Canada.

As we age, our vision can change, with the effects ranging from mild irritation to serious eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and degeneration of the central portion of the retina, resulting in a loss of sharp vision. William Osler Health System’s Dr. Hussain shares her tips for eye health and cataracts prevention:

Stop smoking and vaping

Smoking can increase the risk of cataracts and poor eye health, as chemicals in tobacco smoke can accumulate in the lens of the eye and lead to damage.1 Speak with your doctor or primary care practitioner about supports to help you quit smoking or vaping.

Eat a heathy and balanced diet

A healthy, balanced diet is important to overall health. To improve your eye health, ensure your diet is high in fruits and vegetables that increase your intake of vitamins A and C. Including foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna, and flax and chia seeds, also supports the prevention of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries in the eyes) and dry eyes.

Protect your eyes

UV light and wind can lead to eye damage. Exposure to UV light ages the structures of your eyes leading to corneal damage, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and can ultimately lead to decreased vision.2 When outside, always wear sunglasses with polarized lenses that cover the entire eye area, and never look directly at the sun.

Choose an active lifestyle

Being active and maintaining a healthy weight is essential for mind and body wellness and decreases your vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes. These conditions can increase your risk of ARMD, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Remember to consult your family doctor or primary care practitioner before starting any new exercise programs.

Be proactive

Eye conditions like glaucoma and ARMD can have very few symptoms early in the disease process and can often go unnoticed. Be proactive with your eye health and go for regular eye check-ups with your optometrist.


  1. Government of Canada: The visible health consequences of smoking
  2. Johns Hopkins Medicine: How to protect your eyes from UV damage

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