Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness in the UK, and affect a large number of people – each year there are nearly 400,000 cataract operations performed by the NHS alone! It therefore makes sense to try and adopt preventative measures that reduce our chances of being afflicted by this disease.
Luckily, there is a lot we can do to protect our eyesight, and much of it requires simple changes. Here is the AVC patient guide to health habits that will lower your risk of developing cataracts.
Food is Medicine
The scientific evidence is clear – when it comes to maintaining our eyesight, diet plays a major role! People who eat fruit and vegetables on a daily basis have a 10-15% reduced chance of contracting cataracts compared to those people who don’t. Tea and coffee also help to swing the odds in our favour, probably due to the large amounts of nutrients they contain.
For those of us who simply do not have time to prepare and cook more vegetables, consider supplementing with multivitamins instead. Riboflavin, vitamins C, E, and carotene have all been shown to lower the incidence of cataracts – they protect the eye lens through their antioxidant mechanisms. In addition, cataract-fighting lutein and zeaxanthin (commonly found in kale and broccoli) can also be bought in supplement form.
It’s no secret that obesity increases the risk of diabetes, which in turn encourages the growth of cataracts. While making changes to our diet ticks one box, it is crucial that we also focus on improving our health through exercising more.
The results of a lower BMI and better cardiovascular health can be amazing – those of us who run regularly have a 50% lower chance of being diagnosed with cataracts! Thankfully, we do not have to be olympic athletes to reap the benefits of an exercise regime. Scientists have discovered that walking has a similar positive effect on our eye health.
Becoming more active can be easily achieved. Getting off the bus one stop early, or taking the stairs rather than the lift are both simple strategies that work!
Kick Bad Habits
No matter what beneficial lifestyle adjustments we make, if bad habits and poor choices continue, our eye health will never be as good as it potentially could be.
Toxins produced from smoking have a negative impact on our eyes and lead to the development of cataracts at an earlier age. In addition, excessive alcohol intake is again detrimental to our vision – it affects the absorption of vitamins in the liver, and starves our eyes of the nutrients they need.
The double whammy of regularly smoking and drinking alcohol should definitely be avoided!
It is also important that we are sensible when protecting our eyes from the sun. Working outdoors or long sessions of sunbathing can lead to lens damage from ultraviolet light. Simply by wearing sunglasses can we prevent the development and slow down the progression of cataracts.
Eat well. Exercise. Avoid bad habits. It really is that straightforward! Putting your health first will dramatically lower your risk of being affected by cataracts, and will help to protect your body from many other diseases too.
Find Out More: Cataract Surgery
If you would like to find out what you can do about cataracts or are already suffering from cataracts and would like to find out more about cataract surgery at Advanced Vision Care, then why not call AVC TODAY on 0800 652 4878 and request your free information pack or book your consultation to find out how we can help you.