Age and genetics are the usual causes of cataracts. There’s nothing you can do about them, but you can mitigate the risk they pose by adopting a healthy diet and making some lifestyle changes. Here’s how a healthy diet can decrease your risk.
Your Diet’s Role in Cataract Prevention
Just to be clear, there is no definite way to prevent cataracts yet. However, medical experts believe that eye lenses become cloudy after they’re subjected to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress happens when highly reactive free radicals come into contact with enzymes and proteins in your body. Luckily, you can keep these in check by eating foods rich in antioxidants.
Keep in mind that while most free radicals come from unhealthy habits like smoking and a diet high in processed foods, free radicals are also a by-product of metabolism. This means even if you avoid unhealthy habits like the aforementioned, an antioxidant-rich diet is still a must.
Antioxidant-Rich Foods and Nutritional Supplements
But what should you include in your diet? Include fruits and vegetables that contain high levels of vitamins A, C, E, lutein and zeaxanthin. Omega-3 fatty acids may also slow the progression of cataracts so it would be good if you could include oily fish, such as tuna and salmon, in your diet as well.
Given that these vitamins are the ones combatting free radicals, should people take nutritional supplements as well? If you’re not getting enough of the aforementioned nutrients, there’s no harm in doing so. Just keep in mind that the evidence on nutritional supplements’ role in cataract prevention is mixed. Some studies have observed they reduce the risk of developing cataracts while others didn’t. As such, researchers still recommend getting all these nutrients from natural sources.
The Importance of Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is important because once you develop cataracts, the only way to restore vision is through surgery. Keep in mind that some of the risk factors for cataracts can also lead to other vision problems. If you’re having issues with your vision, you should see your eye doctor to get a diagnosis and discuss your possible vision therapy options.
Looking for eye doctors in your area?
Insight Vision Center Optometry offers a wide variety of eyewear and contact lenses, including scleral lenses. To set up an appointment with one of our highly trained doctors, call us at (714) 988-6179, or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, CA.