Studies have shown that cataracts are the leading cause of visual impairment worldwide. In America alone, about 22 million people age 40 and above suffer from the eye condition. This is statistics do not account for people below the age of 40 who suffer from cataract. But that is not the aim of this article.
In this post, we shall focus on highlighting the steps you can take to reduce the chances of developing a cataract.
Bear in mind that there is no scientific proof that cataract can be prevented but making some diet and lifestyle adjustments to reduce the chances of its occurrence. let’s take a look at some of these necessary changes:
As you already know, eating foods rich in antioxidants such as vitamins C and E is good for eye health. Similarly, consuming such food can help reduce the chances of developing cataracts or slow down its growth if you have it already.
Some of the foods that are rich in vitamins C and E include tomatoes and tomato juice, Strawberries, Potatoes, spinach, Red and green peppers, Kiwifruit, Cantaloupe, vegetable oils, almonds and peanuts, broccoli, and even cereals.
Another set of vitamins that can help to protect your eyes from cataracts are lutein and zeaxanthin. You can get these vitamins by consuming eggs and leafy vegetables.
As you can see, most of these foods are already part of our regular diet. The important thing is to take note of them and consume them in a more conscious manner. For instance, consuming two servings of nuts can provide up to 8-14 milligrams of vitamin E.
Smoking is one habit that has a lot of health implications – lung and heart diseases. But it doesn’t just stop there. Smoking is also a major culprit for cataracts because it creates free radicals that harm the cells in your eyes.
Quitting smoking isn’t easy but it is a risk factor that you can control. There are a lot of programs and medications that can help you to quit smoking. You can discuss with your doctor to help you identify the one that will work for you.
Ultra-violet rays (UVA and UVB) have been found to be among the causes of cataracts – they damage the proteins in the eyes. So the ideal way to reduce the chances of developing the condition is to shield your eyes from sunlight.
The good news is, you can do that while looking cool at the same time. You can shop around for beautiful sunglasses that enhances your looks while offering protection to your eyes.
When choosing a sunglass, endeavor to select the one that has a frame that is close to your eyes. The ideal sunglass should be able to block out 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays or at least, 75 to 90 percent of visible light.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Excessive consumption of alcohol increases the risk of cataracts and there are scientific reports that lend support to this assertion. Though there have been mixed findings as to how alcohol consumption affects cataract formation, with some findings showing that drinking more than 20 grams of alcohol per day increases the odds while anything below that doesn’t and may even reduce the odds.
If I were you, I wouldn’t look at statistics before quitting alcohol. Apart from cataract, alcohol consumption has been found to be the major cause of many deadly diseases. So save your health (not just your eyes) by quitting alcohol.
Get Regular Eye Exams
This is perhaps the most important lifestyle adjustment you need to make to be on a safer side. Unlike other health conditions, cataract develops without showing any pains or signs. Periodic check by a specialist will help to spot the problem early on.
For individuals between 40 and 64 years old, it is important to get a complete eye exam every 2 to 4 years. And for an individual over 65 years old, it is ideal to get examined every 1 to 2 years.
Interested a complete eye exam? Schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam with one of our specialists today.