It’s akin to the mornings when you don’t quite have time to let the defroster work its magic and you drive to work squinting through the fog. It turns the world into a blurred picture, marred by an unfortunate glare and faded colors. It’s a cloud over your eye, maybe both. It’s a cataract.
Cataracts are an age-related condition affecting more than half of the population by the time they are 80. With them, the eye’s lens clouds over, preventing light from reaching the retina. Vision blurs, colors fade, glare intensifies and night vision worsens. In some cases, double vision occurs. It can be a condition that is little more than a nuisance, bettered by a stronger prescription, brighter lights, anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses, or it can interfere with daily life, rendering common activities impossible and requiring surgery. Either way, it is something you would like to prevent, and so you protect your eyes, donning sunglasses, not smoking and limiting your alcohol. And now, you eat your greens.
A study of more than 35,000 women found that those who consumed lutein and zeaxanthin had lower risks of cataracts. In fact those who ate the most had an 18 percent smaller chance of developing them. Both antioxidants are most abundantly found in eggs, corn, peas and leafy greens – kale, spinach, broccoli, collard greens, etc. So embrace your inner rabbit and have a salad. While you’re at it, check to make sure that your multivitamin has lutein in it. It’s been added to many, but only recently, so if yours is lacking you may want to consider an upgrade. The change could keep cloudy days at bay, for a while at least.