Millions of Americans suffer from cataracts, which are cloudy spots on the lens of the eye that can cause vision changes. Patients with cataracts often experience fuzzy vision and glare sensitivity. Fortunately, making certain changes in your lifestyle and diet can help prevent this eye disease.
Here are some simple steps you can take to lower your odds of developing cataracts:
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Research shows that a diet rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, lutein and zeaxanthin, may aid in cataract prevention. For people who already have cataracts, it may slow the progression of the condition. Citrus, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, kiwi, brussels sprouts, potatoes and cantaloupe are great sources of vitamin C.
Sunflower oil, safflower oil and wheat germs are rich in vitamin E. You can also get your daily dose of vitamin E from peanuts, green vegetables and in some breakfast cereals. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in eggs and green, leafy vegetables.
Smoking isn’t only bad for your lungs and heart, but it also your eyes. It produces free radicals in your eyes, which are chemicals that harm cells. Smoking kills the antioxidants you get from fruits and vegetables that fight harmful chemicals. It also creates a lot of toxins that can cause cataracts. Even if you’ve been smoking for years, if you quit now, it can help prevent cataracts.
Drink in Moderation
Drinking too much can increase the likelihood of cataract development. Research has found that drinking less than two standard-size drinks every day reduces the chances of developing cataracts.
Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts, so keeping your blood sugar in check can help you avoid the condition. The lens of your eyes swells if your blood sugar stays too high for too long. Your lens also turns blood sugar into sorbitol. This substance can build up in the lens, which can make you see less clearly and cause cataract formation.
Seeing your eye doctor regularly can help with the early detection and treatment of cataracts. At Spectrum Eye Care, we’re here for all your vision and eye care needs. Call us at (704) 543-9000 (South Charlotte), (704) 334-4444 (Uptown Charlotte) or (704) 817-4600. You can also schedule an appointment online by completing our contact form.