Cataracts are one of the most common ailments affecting the eyesight of older people. This type of cataract is age-related and is called primary cataracts but there are things you can do right now that can help you to avoid primary cataracts for as long as possible.
Here are some lifestyle tips that can help to prevent cataracts.
What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. Common symptoms of cataracts include:
- Cloudy or blurred vision
- Poor night vision
- Sensitivity to bright lights
- Seeing halos around light sources
- Requiring more lighting to see
- Needing to change prescription lenses frequently
- Colors that seem paler, faded or washed out
- Double vision in one or both eyes
There are a lot of things you can do to help prevent or at least slow down the development of cataracts.
- Visit your eye doctor regularly and don’t avoid any follow-up visits he/she may advise
- Protect your eyes with sunglasses whenever you go outside. If you don’t, your risk of developing cataracts later in life increases by as much as 60 percent.
- John’s wort and other supplements or medications increase light sensitivity so be especially careful in the sun if you are using them.
- Quit smoking.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Drinking every day increases your risk of cataracts by more than 30 percent.
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under tight control
Foods That Prevent Cataracts
Eating the right foods can reduce your risk of getting cataracts or can slow their progression.
Vitamins A and C – Apricots, carrots, spinach, strawberries and tomatoes are all rich in vitamins A and C. Eating lots of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants, will fight free radicals.
Vitamin E – Including lots of vitamin E in your diet will cut your risk of getting cataracts in half. Good sources of vitamin E can be found in wheat germ, whole grain bread, brown rice and other seeds, nuts and grains. It can also be found in canola oil.
Vitamin B – Vitamin B’s, including niacin, thiamin and riboflavin can be found in fortified cereal and mushrooms.
Protein – A deficiency of protein in your diet can also increase your risk of cataracts. Protein can be found in fish, turkey or chicken breasts and low fat dairy products. Beans, rice and other legumes are also excellent sources of protein.
Foods to Avoid
- Saturated fats, like those found in butter, lard and coconut oil should be avoided.
- Salt intake should be reduced. Try using substitutes like turmeric or other herbs as for seasoning food.
- Cataracts may be an inevitable sign of aging but following these tips can help slow down their progress.