Age-related cataract development is one of the leading causes of blindness world wide, according to All About Vision. Characterized by a clouding of the lens in the eye, currently the only treatment to restore vision is surgical removal of the natural lens and replacing it with an artificial one. While the surgery is usually successful, research is showing some important links between diet and cataract prevention.
The general thought is cataracts form due to the breakdown of healthy cells that create the lens of the eye during the regular metabolic process that leads to cell-aging. Also known as oxidative stress, cells become damaged when there is not an ample oxygen ratio in our bodies. An excess of oxygen can turn this life-sustaining gas into free radicals that work to destroy healthy cells. For optimum cell reproduction, the more antioxidant-rich nutrients we digest the less unused oxygen will remain which will result in fewer cell-damaging free radicals.
With the concept of oxidative stress in mind, research is growing in the area of diet and cataract prevention. According to All About Vistion, in most of the studies conducted, positive results for a reduction or slowed progression of cataracts were found in those who had a high intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.
As much as possible, choose fruits and vegetables that are rich in color and known for their antioxidant properties. That means greens, reds, yellows and oranges adding up to at least five servings daily. Whole grains should make up three servings daily and fish at least two servings a week. If you feel you are not consuming enough of these vital nutrients, you should consider a supplement.
Optos would like to encourage you to make healthy changes to your diet to protect your eye health and have regularly scheduled comprehensive eye exams including optomap® retinal imaging. Ultra-widefield retinal imaging can help your eye care professional detect, diagnose and treat eye disease earlier for better outcomes for your vision.