By: Janine Disanti, OD
Your diet is your first line of defense against many different vision problems, including cataracts. Even though some infants are born with congenital cataracts in rare cares, the vast majority of us develop this condition later on in life. Here is a closer look at what causes cataracts and a few key nutrients that will help you combat this condition.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens that eventually impairs one’s vision. They typically develop in both eyes equally, but there are some rare cases in which a cataract has developed in a single eye.
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss, and this medical problem is extremely common among the older population. Some patients develop this condition when they are younger, but it usually occurs after the age of 50.
There are many different risk factors for cataracts including diabetes, smoking cigarettes, and long-term exposure to direct sunlight. In addition to protecting your eyes from the sun and steering clear of cigarettes, you should also take a fresh look at your diet if you want to maintain healthy eyes.
The Best Vitamins for Cataracts
Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a vital nutrient that builds up the collagen around your corneas. This vitamin is typically found in brighter fruits and vegetables like blueberries, oranges, strawberries, and papaya. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and most other cruciferous vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin C as well. If you don’t regularly eat those foods, then consider taking a high-quality vitamin C supplement. You also have the option of eating snacks that have been reinforced with vitamin C.
Vitamin E is another powerful nutrient that protects the eyes from most forms of damage. This antioxidant can be found in seeds, nuts, and whole grains. Butter, avocado oil, and eggs contain vitamin E as well. Much like vitamin C, you should consider taking a high-quality supplement if you think that you might not be getting enough of this nutrient through your diet.
The Best Nutrients for Cataracts
Both lutein and zeaxanthin protect the eyes from many different types of damage, and that includes cataracts. When eaten regularly, these two nutrients may even boost your vision. Some of the foods that contain these nutrients include broccoli, kale, spinach, corn, eggs, and beans. They are also found in most multivitamins that are designed specifically for seniors. Some health food companies also sell concentrated tinctures that contain lutein and zeaxanthin.
No matter how much time and energy you spend trying to protect your eyes, cataracts and other vision problems can still develop at any time. Our team is ready to help you with a comprehensive plan to preserve your vision and prevent future problems. Please contact us today to learn more about our cataract procedures and other services.