When you think about your favorite sights, what images do you see? The sunset from your porch, the radiant smiles of your children and grandchildren, the glimmer in your partner’s eyes as you dance together. Now, consider what it would be like if those crystal clear images were suddenly blurry, covered in a haze that dulls your world. Such is life with cataracts, a degenerative eye disease that clouds vision and may eventually lead to blindness.
According to the National Eye Institute, 24.4 million Americans age 40 and older are affected by cataracts. By 2050 that number is expected to double to 50 million. Here are five recommendations for delaying and even preventing cataracts.
1) Taste the rainbow. Maintaining a balanced diet, rich in antioxidants and vitamins C and E. Consider incorporating these eye healthy foods and take a multivitamin to ensure that you’re always getting adequate nutrients, even if your diet gets a little off-track.
2) Maintain a healthy weight. Diabetes and obesity can lead to cataracts. Reduce your risk by exercising regularly and eating healthy portions.
3) Moderate your vices. Smoking and excessive alcohol use can also contribute to the cause of cataracts. Limit your alcohol consumption and nix the cigarettes.
4) Protect your eyes from the sun. Shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays by wearing sunglasses with UV protection, and wide-brim hats.
5) Get an eye exam every year. A comprehensive eye exam will not only help detect early signs of cataracts, but will also check for age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other vision problems. Schedule your appointment today with a VSP provider.
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