Are you on your computer, playing Xbox, or watching TV? The Blue Blockers will help to enhance your brain and eye fatigue. Listen now to learn more!
Selenium may be a micro mineral, but it is essential for important functions in the body such as immune defenses, heart health and more.
InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye and this affects your vision. Most cataracts are related to aging. They are painless, but they really do cause a vision problem. The cataract creates a cloudy area in the lens of your eye, which blocks light from getting to the retina properly and makes it difficult for you to see clearly.†
How does a cataract affect your vision?
At first, you may not notice that you’re developing a cataract. Over time, stronger glasses and brighter lightbulbs might help, but eventually, that’s not going to work. Over time, the cataracts make your vision blurry and hazy. They even affect color. You start to have trouble reading, doing everyday chores and activities, and driving at night.†
Cataracts become common as you get older. In fact, more than half of all Americans currently have cataracts or have had surgery to get rid of them. In time, if not taken care of, a cataract can cause blindness.†
In a healthy eye, light enters through the crystalline lens and passes through to the retina. The lens focuses the light into a sharp image on the retina. The retina relays the images through the optic nerve through the back of the eye right into the brain. If the lens in front of your eye is cloudy from a cataract, it’s like using a camera with a smear of butter in front of it. The image you see will be blurry.†
So what are the symptoms of cataracts? A cataract can cause blurry vision that may look filmy, hazy or even foggy. Glare is also an early sign of a cataract. You might become sensitive to light and have trouble seeing in bright sunlight. Indoor lights might seem too bright or have halos around them. Sometimes you may develop diplopia, which is double vision.†
Common risk factors for cataracts
Diabetes is a risk factor for cataracts. Most diabetics develop sorbitol-type cataracts. Quercetin can help short-circuit that. Aging is the major cause of cataracts. Smoking can contribute to this, as can drinking a lot because alcohol uses up your body’s antioxidants. Eye injuries and exposure to radiation or too much sun can also be risk factors for the development of cataracts.†
Some drugs may even contribute to cataracts. Corticosteroids, for instance, mimic the stress hormones we release from our adrenal glands. Stress hormones affect your blood sugar, electrolytes and more and can also lead to cataracts. There is also some evidence that NSAIDs like Advil and Aleve increase the risk of cataracts.†
Some studies also say that statin drugs may lead to cataracts. This is controversial, as some studies say yes and some say no, but I have to say it. The best thing is educating people. A study from the journal Atherosclerosis in 2016 looked 135,000 people who were treated with statins between 2005 and 2007. There was a slight but continuous trend towards an increased risk of a cataract in people who adhered to their statin therapy. It increased the risk of a cataract by about 20%.†
In this episode, Jerry Hickey, Ph., begins a discussion on cataracts. He explains what they are and how they develop and also shares several factors that may contribute to your risk of developing a cataract. In Part 2 of this episode, coming soon, Jerry will continue the conversation and detail nutrients that can help to lower your risk of developing cataracts.†
- Other eye conditions that can cause blurriness
- What causes cataracts?
- The role of the adrenal glands
Thank you for tuning in to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. You can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting www.invitehealth.com/podcast. Make sure you subscribe and leave us a review! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at InViteⓇ Health today. We’ll see you next time on another episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast.
Did you know that cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide? Many people rely on surgery to help with this issue, but there are also nutrients that can help support healthy vision throughout the aging process.
Many say, “The eyes are the window to the soul”. Unfortunately, in the United States, many develop serious eye conditions. One of the most common conditions that develop in the eye is known as a cataract. Though it is very common, it can be difficult to fully understand.
In the United States, 1 in 49 people develop cataracts (5.5 million people). In addition, there are 400,000 new cases in the United States every year. It is important to understand what a cataract is and how to protect yourself against it.
What exactly is a cataract?
A cataract is basically a “clouding” of the lens of the eye. Overtime, this “clouding” develops into an opaque white area that is impossible to see through. A great way to visualize this process is to imagine an egg on a frying pan. As the eggs fry, the clear section slowly turns white. There are 3 different types of cataracts – nuclear, cortisol, and posterior subcapsular cataracts which are identified by the specific location in which they develop on the lens of the eye.
Cause of Cataracts
A cataract develops due to numerous factors. Age related cataract, secondary cataract (after trauma or other illness such as diabetes), congenital cataract (occurring at birth), and radiation cataract are just some examples of why a cataract forms. Overtime, the proteins in the lens of the eye become damaged creating the “clouding” that is known as a cataract. Diabetes is another common cause of cataract production because the persistently elevated blood sugar cause glycation (twisting and binding of proteins) which grow and damage the lens of the eye, forming a cataract. Other facts that contribute to the development of cataracts include smoking, family history, medications, trauma and UV exposure. The ultraviolet radiation exposure due to sunlight damages the lens. Obesity is also a factor that increases the risk of developing a cataract.
Signs of Cataracts
As with all health issues, if you notice any abnormal changes in your body, visiting your regular physician should be your first priority. Knowing how your body regularly works and feels is very important and is the best way to detect when there might be a problem. Signs of cataracts commonly include: double vision, blurry vision, cloudy vision, increased need for light, sensitivity to light, halos around objects and more frequent changes in eyeglass prescription.
- Visual acuity test: used to determine the smallest letters you can read on a standardized chart or a card held 20 feet away.
- Slit lamp exam: uses an instrument that provides a magnified, three – dimensional (3 – D) view of the different parts of the eye.
- Retinal exam: allows your doctor to evaluate the back of your eye, including the retina, the optic disk and the underlying layer of blood vessels that nourish the retina (choroid).
- Contrast sensitivity: defines the threshold between the visible and invisible, especially in situations of low light, fog or glare, when the contrast between objects and their background often is reduced (ex. driving at night).
Prevention is key. It is much easier to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself than to treat a condition once it develops in an unhealthy body. The first method to prevent cataracts is to quit smoking. Another very important method is to control your blood sugar. Uncontrolled diabetes causes serious negative effects in your body, commonly in the eyes. Diabetes is a major cause of cataract formation and of macular degeneration (a major cause of blindness in the elderly).
Antioxidants for Vision Health
Other ways to help prevent cataracts include consuming antioxidants such as astaxanthin (found in supplements such as krill oil), L-Carnosine, beta-carotene, zinc, vitamin C and E. Other antioxidants found to be very beneficial for eye health include lutein and the northern European berry known as bilberry, a concentrated extract.
Lutein is an orange-red pigment in green leafy vegetables and is a relative of beta-carotene. Many studies show the lutein influences vision (macular caroteniod). The level of Lutein in the body decreases with age and some research also indicated that the cholesterol lowering statin drugs further reduce its levels. In some studies, lutein has been found to lower the risk of a cataract by over forty percent and frequently has been shown to protect against age-related macular degeneration.
A rather new antioxidant, named cassis berry, has been found to be very beneficial in protecting the eye. Cassis berry an also be found in high quality eye health formulas.
As common as a cataract is, it is also very preventable. Understanding and listening your body is the key to preventing this condition. At the first sign of an abnormality in your body, visit your primary physician for advice and testing. Developing cataracts can be scary and will be just the first stage of a long struggle with the condition. Preventing cataracts by leading an overall healthy lifestyle is not only beneficial for eye health, but for most health issues that plague many people all over the world.