Protect Your Vision & Prevent Cataracts With Dietary & Lifestyle Changes
For most of the people, Cataracts develop slowly and they don’t affect the vision in early stages but with the passage of time and age, this condition starts interferes with your routine activities. Cataracts are more common in older adults over the age of 65 years and have become a leading cause of permanent vision loss in today’s world. The clouding of the natural eye lens is called as a condition of Cataracts. Currently, the only safe and effective treatment of Cataracts is the Cataract Surgery which involves the surgical removal of clouded lens and then it is replaced with artificial lens called as intraocular lens (IOL). But still, you may think about how to slow down the progress of Cataracts or is there any natural treatment to stop or even cure the disease or can dietary changes prevent Cataracts.
If you are asking these questions then you are not alone. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 20.5 million (17.2 percent) Americans with 40 years of age and older have Cataract in one or both eyes and 6.1 million (5.1 percent) have had the surgical treatment to remove the lens. But, fortunately, you have various options that you can try before resorting to Cataract Surgery. While making certain changes in your diet and adopting some lifestyle changes, you can reduce the progress of the disease, prevent it, even can stop it as well and improve your vision. But, if all this doesn’t happen then you should consult the ophthalmologist.
Dietary changes for Cataract prevention & treatment:
Food is the best way to start fighting against Cataracts. The nutrients which we take in help to protect our cells from any damage and the main highlight of nutrition for preventing Cataracts is carotenoids, a pigment that occur naturally in plants and algae. This pigment helps in absorbing ultraviolet light to protect your vision. Let’s see how some of the best foods help for preventing the Cataracts:
Leafy greens, bell peppers and carrots:
Add more spinach, Swiss chard (a leafy green veggie used in Mediterranean cooking) and kale (leaf cabbage) to your diet because all these are rich in carotenoid, lutein. Another best veggie is red bell pepper that is rich in vitamin C improving the health and vision of eyes. Eat more carrots and orange-colored fruits and vegetables because they contain beta-carotene which is a type of vitamin A giving orange hue to these foods and it is known for its vision booster quality. It also helps the retina and other major parts of the eye to properly perform their function.
Fresh fruits, especially avocados:
Avocados highly contain various nutrients that are essential for the health of your eyes. They contain carotenoids, beta-carotene, vitamin C, E and B6; all are important eye nutrients. So, include avocados in your diet.
Nuts and Seeds:
Vitamin E helps in protecting the cells of the eye from free radicals which are unstable oxygen molecules, accumulate in the eyes and cause Cataracts. Nuts and seeds are highly rich in vitamin E. You don’t need to eat them a lot rather you can have one ounce of sunflower seeds or almonds as this quantity can give you more than third of your recommended dose of vitamin E on daily basis. Walnuts are known as a best source of nuts of omega-3s while pistachios fall on the second position in this category.
Fatty fish, especially salmon:
Fish contain some essential fatty acids that are important for your body and eyes health. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is primary omega-3 fatty acid found in fatty fish and it is a main nutrient that concentrates in the retina. The best type of fish rich in fatty acid is salmon, so include this in your diet as well.
Eggs contain omega-3 fatty acid (DHA) and they are most readily available source of carotenoids. Our body can easily absorb these nutrients from eggs as compare to vegetables because of the fats that eggs contain. So, incorporate eggs not only in your breakfast, but you can also have them in lunch or dinner also.
Herbs like ginkgo biloba:
Herbs are best home remedies that promote the good eyesight and improves the health of the eyes. Among various herbs, Ginkgo Biloba helps in promoting a healthy blood flow that carries various essential nutrients to your cells.
You must also include food in your diet that is a natural source of antioxidants that protect your eyes from free radicals. Some of the natural sources of antioxidants are lemons, oranges, grapefruit, purple grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, olive oil and moringa oil (improves human health).
Eliminate sugar from your diet:
Sugar, in general and various sugary drinks weaken and degenerate your nervous system, so eliminate these from your diet. For this same reason, avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption.
Salty, fast & fried foods:
Avoid very much salty or seasoned food, fast and fried foods because they all are not good for the health of your eyes. It has also been observed that high intake of salt can increase the risk of developing Cataracts. Fast and fried foods also cause obesity and various other health problems.
Drink plenty of water:
In order to protect mucus of your eyes (a liquid produced by eyes throughout the day that protects eyes from dust and irritants) from being dehydrated, you should drink plenty of water in a day, at least two litres.
Lifestyle modifications for Cataract prevention & treatment:
If you want to cure the Cataracts naturally then you really need to look for the ways of its prevention. To date, Cataract Surgery is the only treatment available for the widely spread disease, but there are some lifestyle changes which help you to prevent Cataracts and also protect your vision. Some of these lifestyle changes include:
- Improve lighting in your home by adding more bright lights and lamps
- While going outside in day, make sure to wear sun glasses or broad-brimmed hat to avoid glare
- Limit your driving at night
- Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps
- Quit smoking
- Always use magnifying glass while reading
- If you are diabetic then keep your diabetes under control through balanced & healthy diet, exercise and medication
- Get your eyes checked and have eye exams once a year or more often if you have high risk of developing Cataracts or if you notice any problem with your vision
- Most importantly, make sure to consult a professional and board certified ophthalmologist who prescribe the most accurate eyeglasses or contact lenses.
If you don’t notice any significant improvement in the symptoms of Cataracts after applying the dietary and lifestyle changes or the symptoms become severe then you should consult the ophthalmologist immediately. The board certified ophthalmologists at Menger Eye Centers are highly recommended eye doctors to provide the best treatment for Cataracts in Glendale, NYC. They devise a customized treatment plan for Cataract Surgery depending on the conditions and needs of the patient.