Cataracts are an almost inevitable part of aging. Although you cannot guarantee you’ll never develop them, you can reduce your risks. Keep reading for some tips on how to reduce your risk of developing cataracts!
What is a Cataract?
Before we can explain how to reduce your risks, let’s talk about what cataracts are.
Our eyes are made up of mainly proteins and water. As we age, these proteins tend to gravitate toward the center of the eye’s lens.
Over time, they begin clumping together and affect vision. This will eventually turn into a cataract and cause the lens to become cloudy.
It can take years or even decades for a cataract to be fully developed. Cataracts only become a problem when they impede your vision and ability to see.
The only way you can treat cataracts is by having cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial lens. This is an IOL.
Surgery, though, is usually reserved for late-stage cataracts. Early-stage cataract symptoms are usually treatable with prescription glasses or contacts.
As cataracts worsen, your vision becomes less clear and daily activities become difficult.
Reducing Your Risk Of Cataracts
There’s no guarantee you can prevent cataracts. But you can reduce your risk of developing them. If you’re worried about developing cataracts, try these tips to reduce your risks:
- Eat a diet rich in antioxidants
- Add more protection by making sure to incorporate vitamin and nutrient-rich foods
- Mom was right: Eat those vegetables!
- Fruits are another food group that can help reduce your risk of cataracts.
- Eat those whole grains
- Vitamins A, C, and E are important as they are antioxidant vitamins
- Introduce phytochemicals like lutein and zeaxanthin into your diet for healthy vision.
- Add more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. These are easy to find since fish like salmon and shrimp are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can potentially slow the progression of cataract development. They can also work to reduce your risk of developing cataracts at all.
- Limit carbohydrates since they may increase your risk of developing cataracts.
Vitamin Supplements: Will They Help?
Americans like short cuts. Why eat all the veggies and fruits when we can take a few vitamin supplements and call it good, right?
That’s not exactly how it works.
Vitamin supplements can help, but you shouldn’t rely on them alone. If you want the full benefits, you need to eat the foods that have vitamins in them.
This goes for vitamin supplements as well as omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.
No one is suggesting you stop taking your vitamins and nutritional supplements. Focus on foods that will help reduce your risk of cataracts and take vitamins.
That way, you’ve got your vision health and your general health covered.
If you do develop a cataract, know that it’s not the end of the world. Concerned that you may have a cataract? Schedule a cataract screening at Loden Vision Centers in Nashville, TN today!