According to statistics, more than 20 million Americans are diagnosed with cataracts each year. The clouding of the eye’s natural lens is subtle at first and worsens over time. Sometimes, cataract growth occurs over several years before surgery is performed to restore crystal-clear vision. The timing of surgery depends solely on the patient. If you have been diagnosed with cataracts or have a family history of cataracts, you might wonder if it’s possible to slow their growth.
The only way to resolve the issue of cloudy vision is to replace the natural lens with a human-made IOL, or intraocular lens. Until that time, it is beneficial to support long-term eye health and potentially slow the progression of cataracts by implementing a few habits into your life. Experts suggest:
- Practicing sun-safety. We have learned to recognize the skin damage that may come from tanning, but not as many people are taking measures to protect their eyes from UV light. Natural sunlight has strong ultraviolet rays that enter into the eye, where they can degrade structure. Sunglasses are a must even if you’re not interested in making a fashion statement. Quality sunglasses don’t have to be expensive to filter out harmful ultraviolet rays.
- Examining your prescriptions. If you already have the onset of cataracts, it is wise to speak with your doctor about your medications. Faster progression of cataracts is a side effect of more than 300 prescription drugs. Talking with your doctor about your eye disease may lead to an advantageous medication change.
- Feed your body, feed your eyes. Your overall nourishment has a direct effect on eye health. It really is true what they say about carrots being good for the eyes, so snack freely. The beta-carotene in this crunchy vegetable converts to vitamin A in the body, which is supportive for the eyes. Green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits are also nourishing, providing substantial antioxidants that benefit the eyes, the skin, and more.
Cataract removal surgery is a personal choice that we help patients make by providing necessary information about this procedure and the benefits it offers. To learn more about how to manage cataracts, call our Ocala office at (352) 237-8400.