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Jun 19, 2021

How poor nutrition and lifestyle can lead to cataracts

by: Cheri Bennett

In addition to ushering in the summer season, June is Cataract Awareness month.

Cataracts occur in the lens of the eye. The lens is located behind the iris, which is the colored part of the eye. The function of the lens is to focus light on the retina, which transmits images through the optic nerve to the brain. Normally, the lens of our eyes are clear, however when cataracts occur, the area of the lens becomes cloudy or opaque. Cataracts can negatively impact vision, depending on the location. When cataracts occur, usually both eyes are affected, but one may be more severe than the other.

Even though most cataracts are related to changes in the lens of the eye due to age, there are other factors that can contribute to the development of cataracts. According to the American Optometric Association, lifestyle plays a role in the causes and risk factors of cataracts. Studies have shown a possible link between smoking and increased lens cloudiness. Compared to people with little to no alcohol consumption, several studies reveal that people with higher alcohol consumption show increased cases of cataract development.

Diabetics do not have control of their glucose levels, and this may cause the lens to swell, making people with diabetes at higher risk for cataracts. Some medications can also lead to cataracts, such as corticosteroids, chlorpromazine and other phenothiazine related medications. Family history is also a factor in cataracts occurring. If a close relative has had cataracts there is a greater chance of cataracts developing for an individual.

The American Optometric Association notes that nutritional deficiency may be another factor associated with the formation of cataracts. Studies suggest that low levels of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids, may increase the occurrence of cataracts. When eaten in conjunction with other essential nutrients, these nutrients may prevent cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and loss of vision sharpness…..

Read more: https://www.yourdailyjournal.com/features/101522/how-poor-nutrition-and-lifestyle-can-lead-to-cataracts

Source: Your Daily Journal

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