5 Precautions You Can Take Now to Delay Cataract Formation!
Five Precautions to Delay Cataracts Begin with a Healthy Lifestyle!
Shade your eyes - Summertime means pools, picnics and increased exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Without UV protection in your sunglasses, these harmful rays can lead to an earlier onset of cataracts. To decrease your risk of developing cataracts, wear sunglasses with 100 % UV protection and a wide brim hat in the summer to shade your eyes while you are outside. Remember, even in the winter, sunglasses are essential to protecting your vision!
Stop smoking and limit your alcohol use - It's no secret that smoking is not good for you. Specifically related to cataract formation, free radicals released from smoking can damage the protein in the lens of the eye as well as reduce the ability of antioxidants and enzymes to filter out the protein once it is damaged. When it comes to alcohol consumption, moderation is the key. Try to limit your alcohol intake to no more than one or two alcoholic beverages per day.
Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins C & E - Eat a healthy diet and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, especially yellow and dark green leafy vegetables. Limit your sugar and high glycemic carbohydrates and if you are diabetic, pay special attention to your blood sugar levels.
Take supplements - If you are like most Americans, it's sometimes difficult to get in all of your daily nutritional requirements. Therefore, adding a good multi-vitamin and other supplements may be needed to enrich your diet. Some nutrients like Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in the lens of the eye. It can be extremely challenging to obtain enough of these nutrients by diet alone. Lutein and zeaxanthin may play a role in the delay of cataract formation and they are also important in safeguarding you against the development of macular degeneration.
Get regular eye examinations by an eye care specialist - Cataracts are diagnosed during a comprehensive eye examination. One of the earliest signs of cataract development may be decreased vision or a shift in glasses or contact lens prescription. A yearly eye health examination will allow your eye health provider spot a cataract at its very earliest stage. If a cataract is found, a dilated examination will allow the doctor to evaluate the lens for the type and severity of your cataract. Early and mild cataracts will be monitored until they degrade vision to a certain threshold, at which time cataract surgery is necessary to restore vision. While monitoring an immature cataract, it is important to have your eye pressure checked on a regular basis as well. A cataract on the lens may impinge on the natural drainage structure in the eye. This can cause elevation in intraocular pressure and may put you at higher risk to develop glaucoma.