Reduce Your Risk for Cataracts
It’s commonly said that if a person lives long enough, he or she will deal with cataracts. But is that actually true? Well, you’d have to have access to a magic ball to say for sure. But here are a few things we do know:
- Cataracts affect over 24.4 million American age 40 and older, or about one in every six people in this age range.*
- By age 80, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts. It’s the leading cause of blindness.*
Cataracts are certainly a leading cause of blindness in the United States today. While there’s no definite way to guarantee cataract prevention, making some lifestyle changes might lower your odds of getting them.
A cataract is a progressive clouding of the natural lens of the eye that blurs vision, causes colors to appear faded and generally reduces visual acuity. Once cataracts form, they tend to grow, gradually affecting larger areas of the lens.
No one knows for sure why the eye’s lens changes as we age, but researchers have identified various causes of cataracts:
- Family history
- High myopia (nearsightedness)
- Oxidative changes in the lens due to poor diet
- Previous eye inflammation or injury
- Prolonged use of steroidal medications
- Ultraviolet light exposure
Reducing Your Risk for Cataracts
Healthy food can help you (Vitamin) C!
Regarding cataract prevention, there is some scientific evidence that suggests Vitamin C can lower the risk of cataract development. Vitamin C is found in food and can be consumed as a dietary supplement.
This idea that Vitamin C can help slow the progression of cataracts is not a new one. Almost all cells in the body depend on Vitamin C, including those of the eye, where it is concentrated in all tissues. Vitamin C also promotes the health of the eye’s blood vessels. Our bodies do not naturally create all of the Vitamin C we need. This is precisely why the daily intake of Vitamin C through fruits, vegetables, beverages and nutritional supplements are recommended for maintaining optimal eye health.
Enter Vitamin E!
Vitamin E is another winner for eye health because of its high concentration of antioxidants. Some studies even suggest a diet rich in Vitamin E can not only lower your risk of developing cataracts but can also slow the progress of existing cataracts.
For vitamin E, consider vegetable oils like sunflower, safflower or wheat germ. Nuts, especially almonds, are also good sources of vitamin E. So are green veggies like spinach and broccoli.
You already know that smoking is bad for your health, specifically your heart and your lungs. But smoking is also bad for your eyes. And when it comes to cataracts, smoking is one risk factor you can control.
Cataracts and Treatment
If you or someone you love is diagnosed with cataracts, it’s important to understand they cannot be treated with medication, eye drops or lifestyle changes. Cataracts must be surgically removed in order for vision to be restored.
The good news? More than 2 million men and women undergo cataract surgery every year, making the procedure one of the most common and most successful medical procedures in the U.S. today. And the surgeons at Mann Eye Institute are among the most experienced cataract surgeons in the country.
Schedule your initial cataract consultation today with Mann Eye Institute. We will give you a clear idea of what will benefit your vision and lifestyle. We are dedicated to helping you See Life Better.
*Prevent Blindness America