What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are a cloudy area formed in the lens of your eye making your vision blurry, less focused and potentially less colourful.
It is one of the largest contributors to blindness in the world and primarily affects people as they begin to age.
Signs and Symptoms of Cataract
You may not notice any symptoms at first, but as the cataracts grow, they will cause a change to your vision. Common signs and symptoms include:
- Vision which is cloudy or blurry
- Difficulty seeing objects/things at a distance
- Low light visual impairment
- Colours seem faded
This could occur in one or both eyes and if not treated, could in time lead to loss of vision.
Age is the most common cause behind cataracts worldwide. It occurs where the lens degrades over time and can be accelerated by other conditions including diabetes and hypertension.
Environmental factors such as exposure to toxic radiation and UV light are also major contributors to age related Cataracts.
Exposure to radiation from X-rays and UV light may damage the cells in the lens of the eye, which causes the development of cataracts.
If you’re being exposed to radiation or UV lights, wearing sunglasses can help reduce the long-term likelihood of developing cataracts.
Having a family history of the condition increases the likelihood of developing cataracts in early childhood.
It has been found low levels of Vitamin C are linked to an increased rate of Cataracts [source]. However, supplementing with Vitamin C found no improvement to reducing the condition itself.
How is this diagnosed?
Diagnosis is achieved with an eye exam. Your eye doctor will test your vision and examine your eyes in detail with specialist equipment to assess for cataracts and other potential eye problems.
There is no scientifically proven cure for cataracts. But there are lifestyle changes you can adopt which could help reduce the severity of cataracts.
This includes adopting a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories; which could help reduce cellular level breakdown.
Consuming more iron; which contributes to increased red blood cell production and consuming more vitamin and mineral rich foods which can be carried to all your cells (including eye cells) helping the development and longevity of your eyes.
General Eye Care Tips
Good eye health, much like overall health and well-being is something you earn and adopt into a daily lifestyle. We recommend the following care regime to improve overall eye health:
- Eat healthy foods including a diet rich in Vitamin A, C and E
- Healthy fats are your friend – omega 3, 6 and 9 and MCT fatty acids have beneficial properties for overall health
- Drink plenty of water
- Take frequent breaks from the screen and exercise your eyes
Use brighter lights at home and work to reduce the stress placed on your eyes while on the computer or TV screens
If you’re outside in bright environments, use sunglasses – this will help reduce the effect of glare and reduce the UV exposure
ZOOM in! If text is too small, change your phone / computer settings to increase font size.
Reflex Pressure Point Massage Self-Treatment
Acupressure therapy stimulates your eyes and can help keep them healthy. It focuses on rebalancing the “energy flow” through your meridian channels. Think of it as helping transport blood, oxygen and minerals across your body by unblocking build up across your veins and capillaries.
There are pressure points located at the top of your hands, below the first two fingers after the thumb on either side, as indicated in figure 1. Gently press on this area for 10 seconds at a time, each hand. Repeat between five and ten times a day for relief.