There are very few things in life that we can actually be certain about, and one of those things is getting older. As much as we hate it, there is no way to get around this, and as we age, our bodies go through a number of changes, and not always for the better. One of the most common problems often associated with old age is poor vision, often thought about by cataracts. This is a condition that affects millions of people all over the world, and unfortunately, it is not one that can be cured or reversed. But there are treatments for cataracts, and those who have this condition do not have to worry about occasional blindness.
Slowing the Progression of Cataracts
Cataracts are not something that develops overnight, and there are some steps that you can take to slow the process, or even prevent them from developing at all. Of course, it is important to have regular eye exams, at least once every two years. As you get older, you may want to up this to once every year. Other things you can do to avoid cataracts, or at least slow their progress, include:
- Protect your eyes from the sun: As nice as it is to be out on a hot, sunny day, the sun is not good for us. Not only is it harmful to our skin, it can do a lot of damage to our eyes as well. If you are going to be out in the sun, make sure that you are wearing protective sunglasses, or at the very least, a hat with a wide brim that will help to keep your eyes shaded and protected from the sun.
- Follow a healthy diet: Whether it is for our eyes or not, it is essential that we all follow a healthy diet for our continued good health. Certain nutrients are good for eye health, and will help to slow the progress of cataracts. Some of the foods that should be included in our diets are foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, D and E, as well as beta carotene and Omega-3 fatty acids. Some foods that should be in your diet include broccoli, sweet potatoes, fish, dairy products and nuts.
- Do not smoke: This is a very unhealthy habit anyway, and we all know what smoking can do to our lungs. But did you also know that smoking can cause cataracts to develop even faster than normal? By quitting smoking, people are greatly reducing their risk of ever developing cataracts in the first place.
If you already have cataracts, there are things you can do to prevent the condition from worsening. This could be as simple as getting a new prescription for your eye glasses. You may just need to have an anti-glare coating, or magnifying glass. If glasses do not help the situation, then unfortunately, the only option left is cataract surgery.
The surgery itself is a pretty simple procedure, one that is performed thousands of times daily around the world. It takes less than a half an hour, and then, there are a few days of recuperation time to follow. It is one of the most common types of surgery performed in hospitals, and it is extremely successful for restoring vision. Basically, the surgery involves removing the cloudy lens of the eye, and replacing it with a new artificial lens. If you have cataracts in both eyes, there will be two separate procedures, usually about four to eight weeks apart. This is not a dangerous surgery, and it is the only way to get rid of cataracts and start seeing things clearly again.
Although there is no actual cataract cure, there are many ways to prevent and treat this vision problem. If you have cataracts, you will need surgery, but the condition is not going to worsen if you wait to make up your mind.