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Can I Head Off Cataracts?

Though common, cataracts can be an unpleasant inconvenience. Head them off early by following these tips.

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Did you know the lens of your eye is made mostly of water and protein? Most of the time that protein is arranged in such a way that it allows light and images to pass through the lens. When that protein clumps together, cataracts form — reducing your vision as well as your independence.

Cataract Causes and Treatments

Cataracts are very common as people age, but they are not inevitable. There are many factors in the development of cataracts besides genetics, including lifestyle factors, sun exposure and diet.

Fortunately, cataracts are highly treatable. As they grow, stronger lighting and prescription eyeglasses can be used to counteract their effects, and cataract surgery is easily available and highly effective if they begin to interfere with your everyday activities.

Can You Avoid Cataracts?

Even though cataract surgery is common, who wants to have surgery if you don’t need to? The best policy is preventing cataracts in the first place.

Although no studies have revealed a proven way to prevent cataracts from forming, we do know of six risk factors you can reduce in order to support your eye health:

    1. Give up the cigarettes. Cataracts form because of harmful molecules called free radicals, and smoking is known to increase free radical damage.
    2. Increase your intake of antioxidants. Vitamins C and E, as well as beta-carotene, are antioxidants that are available in many foods or supplements and can help stop free-radical damage in the body.
    3. Prevent sun damage to your eyes. Wear sunglasses that block UVB rays when you’re outdoors.
    4. Manage your blood sugar. Since diabetes is a risk factor for cataracts, be sure to manage your blood sugar levels and other health concerns carefully.
    5. Exercise regularly. Exercising every day, or at least most days of the week, helps you prevent obesity — another avoidable risk factor for cataracts.
    6. Limit alcohol consumption. Excessive drinking also increases your risk of developing cataracts, so enjoy in moderation.

Better Nutrition Can Help Prevent Cataracts

In addition to giving your eyes the protection they deserve and reducing known cataract risk factors, you should also give them the nutrition they need.

Like every part of the body, your eyes don’t function in isolation — they are supported and affected by many different interconnected systems. For example, liver health is key for cataract prevention and eye health in general. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) tells us that eye problems and liver problems are linked, and liver imbalances like liver blood deficiency, liver heat and internal liver wind can cause eye problems such as floaters, blurry vision, dry eyes, cataracts and more.

For that reason, many of the foods that are most beneficial for liver health also benefit your eyes. Support eyes with these delicious superfoods:

  • Spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens and turnip greens: The lutein and zeaxanthin in these green superfoods helps prevent cataracts as well as macular degeneration.
  • Oranges, grapefruit, and green and red peppers: These contain Vitamin C, which is important for eye health.
  • Seeds and nuts: Sunflower seeds, peanuts and peanut butter, almonds and other nuts and seeds contain Vitamin E, which slows the development of cataracts.

To ensure you’re getting appropriate nutrients every day, select a supplement that provides a full spectrum of the vitamins your eyes need for cataract prevention and overall eye health.

With several antioxidants, botanicals, vitamins and minerals, our Vision Protector formula helps support clear vision and better night vision as well as protecting all the structures of the eye. The Advanced Eye & Vision Support Formula also helps prevent macular degeneration and supports the body in its detoxification processes.

Why suffer from poor vision, cataracts and macular degeneration if you can prevent them? With your eyes protected from the outside and supported from the inside, you’ll be enjoying clearer vision for many years to come!

Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter and receive healthy recipes, lifestyle suggestions for reduced stress and a healthy heart, and tips on exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, beating fatigue, decreasing joint pain — and more.

Facts About Cataract, National Eye Institute, Retrieved April 16, 2015
https://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts

Cataracts Prevention, Mayo Clinic, Retrieved April 16, 2015
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/basics/prevention/con-20015113

Prevent Cataracts Naturally, Daily Mail, Retrieved April 16, 2015
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7774/Prevent-cataracts-naturally.html

13 Foods That Do Your Eyes Good, U.S. News, Retrieved April 16, 2015
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/slideshows/13-foods-that-do-your-eyes-good

How to Choose Eye and Vision Supplements, All About Vision, Retrieved April 16, 2015
http://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/supplements.htm

To Heal the Eyes, Look to the Liver, Rebuild Your Vision, Retrieved April 16, 2015
http://www.rebuildyourvision.com/blog/food-for-your-eyes/to-heal-the-eyes-look-to-the-liver/

Why a Healthy Liver Equals Healthy Eyes, LiverSupport, Retrieved April 16, 2015
http://www.liversupport.com/why-a-healthy-liver-equals-healthy-eyes/

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