Once you develop cataracts, surgery will be in your future. However, many patients and their doctors like those at Northwest Ophthalmology prefer to wait until cataracts are significantly interfering with vision and quality of life before removing them surgically. If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, there are a few things you can try to slow their progression and delay your need for surgery.
Smoking increases the risk of cataracts, and it also speeds up their progression. If you're a smoker, hopefully this gives you the motivation you need to finally quit. If you're tried quitting in the past and have failed, then explore different methods that might work better for you. Attending support groups works for many people, since it is helpful to talk to others about the struggles you encounter as you quit. Some patients find that prescription medications, which combat nicotine cravings or make them feel ill if they do smoke, are helpful.
Eat a diet rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants, like vitamins A, C and E, help promote eye health in general and may slow the progression of cataracts. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which tend to be high in vitamins A and C. Orange fruits and veggies, like carrots, oranges, and sweet potatoes, are particularly good choices. To ensure you're getting enough vitamin E, make sure you're including eggs, nuts and seeds in your diet.
Exposure to UV light can accelerate cataract development. Get into the habit of wearing sunglasses whenever you step outside. Keep an extra pair in your car so you don't accidentally end up without them. If you tend to find sunglasses uncomfortable, visit your eye doctor and have a pair custom made for yourself. Properly fitted glasses won't rub or irritate your skin.
Keep your alcohol intake in check.
Excessive alcohol use may speed cataract development, so cut back on your drinking if you're prone to over-indulging. Try only enjoying alcoholic beverages on special occasions -- and even then, limit yourself to 1 or 2 drinks. If you drink beer or wine on a nightly basis, try replacing it with tea or juice. Both of these beverages are packed with antioxidants, so you'll be harnessing two benefits.
Keep in mind that even when you do implement the practices above, your cataracts will continue to worsen over time. Eventually, you will need to have surgery. However, developing the habits above may allow you to push that surgery off for a few years instead of scheduling it in a couple of months.Share
4 February 2016
If your vision isn't as good as it used to be, you need to see an optometrist. I developed an uncontrollable twitch in both eyes. The problem became so bad that it interfered with my sleep at night. I became cranky, irritable and extremely self-conscience about my problem. At times, I couldn't see anything, even if it was close to my face. But after speaking to my regular doctor about my twitchy eyes, they referred me to an optometrist for an eye exam. The optometrist diagnosed me with poor nerve function. If I didn't do something about it, I'd lose my vision. My eye doctor prescribed eyeglasses to help me see better until I underwent surgery to repair the damaged nerves in my eyes. Now, I see just fine. If you want to know more about protecting your vision, keep reading my blog.