According to statistics, 24.4 million Americans of age 40 and up have cataracts. And by the time we are in our mid 70's, half the population is estimated to have cataracts.
Because cataracts do not affect the vision or cause discomfort in their early stages, many people in their 40's and 50's have cataracts that they are not aware of. The bad news is that although cataracts do no pose any problems while they are small, they have been identified as the leading cause of blindness in seniors.
This is why it is very important to seek treatment for cataracts as soon as you know about them. Because if cataracts go untreated they might cause you to lose your sight completely with time.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways that you can treat cataracts. Read on to find out what these are.
The Main Treatment for Cataracts Is Surgery
One of the most common cataract treatments is surgery. Surgery removes cataracts completely and eliminates any chance of them growing back.
When to Go for Surgery
If you think that you have cataracts you should consult your doctor or an eye specialist to get a cataract diagnosis. If your vision is already being impaired then it is likely that they will advise surgery as soon as possible.
What Happens When You Go for Surgery
Although cataract surgery is highly safe and does not require you to even stay the night in the hospital - the procedure itself can be daunting. During surgery, the lens of the eye is removed. Once that is done it is replaced with an artificial lens.
The upside to this is that if you already suffer from vision problems such as near or farsightedness, you can choose to have an artificial lens put in place that will reduce this. In some cases, people have been able to stop wearing their glasses once their eyes have healed.
These artificial lenses are called interocular lenses (IOL). There are a variety of types available which you can discuss with your eye specialist.
You Can Also Try Supplements
If the thought of surgery, and of losing your natural lenses, scares you — then we have some good news. Although surgery is the most widespread treatment method for cataracts, it is not the only one.
If you don't want to go under the knife, you can also try certain supplements. Although these methods are slower to take effect and less researched than cataract surgery, there is evidence that taking certain supplements can be effective.
For example, one ten-year study documenting the progression of cataracts in women found a direct link between the intake of vitamin E and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
If you wish to supplement with these nutrients you can take them in capsule form or include foods rich in these into your diet. Sunflower seeds, spinach, and almonds are all high in vitamin E. Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in spinach, kale, and other leafy dark green vegetables.
Another supplement that is been pinpointed as being able to treat cataracts is the enzyme serrapeptase. Serrapeptase is commonly used to fight inflammation and pain. But thanks to its scientifically proven ability to 'eat up' and break down dead/damaged tissue, including fibrin, it is used for the treatment of cataracts.
Because cataracts are comprised of fibrin, serrapeptase can be of great benefit for getting rid of and controlling cataracts naturally. Cataract sufferers have reported that after taking serrapeptase cataracts do appear to either stall in growth and/or reduce in size.
Taking supplements such as serrapeptase work especially well for controlling cataracts if done in conjunction with preventative measures that one can take for cataracts.
Preventative Measures You Can Take
Besides having surgery done, or stalling cataracts with the right supplements, there are also some preventative measures that you can take to make sure that any cataracts which you have do no get worse than they need to.
Wear Dark Glasses When out in the Sun
According to the National Eye Institute, exposure to ultraviolet light can play a contributing role to the development of cataracts. Because of this, one of the things that you can do to prevent cataracts is to limit exposure to the sun by wearing dark glasses when you are outdoors.
Limit Sugar and Processed Foods
Diabetes has been identified as a risk factor for cataracts. Therefore limiting your sugar intake and other foods that can cause diabetes is one way to also protect yourself from cataracts.
Eat Lots of Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are a rich source of cataract fighting carotenoids. So be sure to load up on these as often as possible to give your eyes the upper edge over cataracts.
Smoking is a lifestyle factor that has been linked to an increased risk of cataracts. Do you smoke and need another motivating factor to stop? If so then consider that quitting could not only save other areas of your health but could also save your eyes from developing cataracts.
Don't Drink in Excess
Heavy alcohol consumption is another factor that has been linked to an increased risk of cataracts. To further protect your eye lenses from cataracts, try to keep your alcohol intake low.
It Is Very Important That You Treat Your Cataracts Otherwise, You Can Lose You Vision
As things stand, the two types of treatment for cataracts are either surgery or self-treatment through supplements.
Whether you choose to have surgery or to take supplements and practice preventative measures, it is important that you treat your cataracts. If left to their own devices, cataracts can grow to the point where they obliterate your vision completely.
So, if you have cataracts, don't delay in getting treatment for your eyes.
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