Cataracts can form as we age, but their growth can be accelerated by many different sources. Toxic stress, poor diet, dehydration and heavy metals such as cadmium in the body can cause cataracts to form and develop faster than normal. Untreated cataracts can cause severe vision problems and can even lead to blindness. More than half of Americans older than the age of 80 have cataracts, so doctors are extremely interested in ways to prevent this degenerative eye condition.
Cataract surgery is a routine procedure that is safe and effective, but there are other ways to slow down the development of cataracts as well.
- Change your diet. The same diet that is good for your body is good for your eyes. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, particularly those rich in antioxidants. Also include nuts, whole grains and cold water fish in your diet.
- Protect your eyes from extensive exposure to the sun. Wearing sunglasses or a brimmed hat is good for your eyes and your skin.
- Stop Smoking. The leading source of cadmium comes from cigarette smoke.
All three of these suggestions are positive life changes. All of us could benefit from eating more healthy fruits and vegetables and less processed food. Just wearing a hat on a sunny day protects both your eyes and your skin. And we all know the benefits of quitting smoking.
Talk to your eye doctor about how you can reduce your risk for cataracts, or contact one of our eye centers today!