Cataracts form when the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, obscuring light as it passes through the lens towards the light-sensitive cells of the retina. If left untreated, cataracts can result in partial or complete blindness. Thankfully, if you have recently been diagnosed with cataracts, there are some things you can do to manage the condition while you are waiting for surgery.
Make regular visits to an optometrist
Your optometrist will be able to monitor the size of your cataracts. After each visit, your optometrist will send a report to the eye surgeon so they have up-to-date information about your condition before surgery begins. Your optometrist will also be able to prescribe you with new lenses, which will help to sharpen your vision while you are waiting to have your cataracts removed.
Wear your sunglasses
Exposure to high levels of UV radiation found in sunlight can cause significant damage to the proteins within the lens of your eyes. Over time, this damage could cause the proteins to break down, resulting in the lens becoming cloudier as a cataract grows in size. Wearing sunglasses will help to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and may even allow an existing cataract to reduce in size without the need for surgery.
Research has shown that a diet which is rich in vitamins and minerals can help you to maintain your eye health. Vitamins E and C contain high levels of antioxidants which are believed to help to prevent cataracts. You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli and strawberries. Great sources of vitamin E include peanuts and spinach. Making sure you are getting all of the vitamins you need can help you to manage your cataracts before you have surgery.
If you smoke, you could be placing the health of your eyes at risk as well as your lungs. Every time you smoke, you release free radicals into your body. These free radicals can cause damage to the cells in your body. If free radicals damage the proteins within the lens of your eyes, it can cause them to cloud up even more until you reach a point where you need to have cataract surgery. The best way to combat this problem is to quit completely. If you would like help quitting tobacco, you should contact your local GP surgery or health clinic.
If you are interested in finding out more, you should pay a visit to your local optometrist today.