Cataracts are a common eye disorder related to aging. The condition generally develops in people over the age of 60, when the lens of the eyes begins to cloud from exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and other factors. Although there may be a genetic component to the development of cataracts, you can take proactive steps to keep yourself healthy. Here are four suggestions for taking care of your eyes if you have been diagnosed with cataracts.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Health experts recommend a diet that focuses on fruits and vegetables because these foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that keep your whole body functioning more efficiently and help to protect against disease. This protection also extends to your eye health, so ensure that colorful vegetables and fruits, as well as green leafy vegetables, are part of your daily diet.
Increase Consumption of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are a special type of fat component in the human diet that can have many benefits. Foods such as salmon, herring, tuna and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Dark leafy green vegetables, walnuts and flaxseed are other sources. Include these foods in your diet, and you will be providing your body with an important nutrient for cardiovascular health and eye health.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions Carefully After Surgery
Cataract surgery is a routine procedure that offers good results and a very low risk for complications. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions for post-surgical care after your procedure. Your eye surgeon may also prescribe an ocular steroid treatment after your cataract surgery to reduce inflammation and aid in healing. Healing is generally rapid, and patients are back to their normal activities in a short period of time.
Protect Eyes Whenever You Are Outdoors
The harsh ultraviolet rays from the sun can have a damaging effect on eye health. Always wear sunglasses when outdoors, even during the winter months when the glare off snowpack can be blinding. Keep an extra pair of sunglasses in your car. If you find yourself out in bright sunlight without your sunglasses, use a hat with a wide brim to help protect your eyes.
Fortunately, a diagnosis of cataracts doesn’t have to mean a permanent loss of vision. Proper treatment will allow you to regain clear vision so you can enjoy your normal activities. Make caring for your eyes a part of your regular health maintenance, and you will continue to enjoy good vision throughout life.