Nationwide, roughly one in six people age 40 and over suffer from cataracts, making this type of eye disorder one the country’s leading causes of blindness.
By the time most Americans turn 80, more than half of their peers suffer from cataract-related vision loss.
Exactly what is a cataract? It’s cloudy buildup around the lens of your eye that generally happens with aging and negatively impacts the way light hits your retina, therefore diminishing your vision.
Dr. Walton is well-versed in cataract surgery options. But even before cataracts develop, there are steps that you can take to diminish the likelihood that you will suffer from this type of age-related vision loss.
Amend Your Diet
Much the same way that unhealthy foods can contribute to illness, certain healthy food options can support vision and eye wellness, and therefore lower your chances of developing cataracts.
You may actually be surprised to learn the many types of ailments that can be positively impacted by certain foods — especially fresh fruits and vegetables.Consider that turmeric is used to lessen inflammation in the body, and is therefore a natural pain management remedy, and that kale has more calcium than milk and more iron than beef.
When it comes to your eye health, foods that are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage and deterioration, have been shown to promote great eye health and diminish your chances of developing cataracts. Some excellent sources of vitamin C include:
- Citrus (oranges, grapefruit, limes, etc.)
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
- Red and green peppers
- Kiwi fruit
- Brussels sprouts
Vitamin E is another nutrient that’s known for promoting immunity as well as skin and eye health. That’s because vitamin E is an antioxidant that counters damage to the body caused by free radicals, or the chemical compounds that doctors now believe contribute to higher rates of disease and illness.
That’s why doctors now believe that eating five servings of fresh produce a day and two servings of nuts goes a long way toward advancing long-term health and wellness — including lasting vision and eye health.
Although you can take vitamin E as a supplement, your body is most receptive to whole, non-processed foods. Here are some of the foods known to be rich in vitamin E:
- Olive oil
- Butternut squash
- Palm oil
- Sweet potato
- Wheat germ
- Sunflower seeds
Many other fruits and vegetables have been found to promote the body’s ability to fight disease in general. Among them are foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, such as eggs and leafy greens.
Lest We Forget
You already know that smoking cigarettes is bad for your general health, to say nothing of the very particular and dramatic damage that it causes the heart and lungs. But did you know that cigarette use also can diminish your eye health and therefore your vision?
Particularly as we age, breaking up with cigarettes can be the single most impactful choice you can make when it comes to living a long and healthy life.
Here to Help
Despite these measures, statistics show that as you advance through life, you are likely to face a vision-related health problem that may include cataracts.
If you live in or near Mobile, Alabama and would like to know more about your cataract treatment options, please contact Dr. Chris Walton’s office for a consultation by calling 251-341-3385.