Healthy diet reduces cataracts!

Speaking of diets and healthy eating habits- there was a recent article published in the Archives of Ophthalmology which reported on the benefits of a healthy diet in reducing the incidence of cataracts.  This was a study following 1800 women for 4 to 7 years to see if diet was related to the development of cataracts.  This study showed that a diet rich in varoiety of vitamins, minerals and carotenoids lead to a much lower incidence of cataracts.  A higher incidence was also found in women that smoked and were obese.

“Healthy Diet and the Subsequent Prevalence of Nuclear Cataract in Women”. Mares, Julie et al, Arch Ophthalmology, 128:6 738-749 June 2010

What else can you do besides diet? Dr. Rowen states in his Second Opinion Newsletter that monthly IV chelation therapies can help detox the body and improve circulation help to reduce the progression of cataracts.

There are also several quality eye drops to reduce symptoms of catatarcts that are investigating and We have also developed a special vitamin nutritional formula along with a homeopathic preperation to help reduce the growth of cataracts. Please call the office for information on these products 1-800-430-9328

A final note every effort ahould be made to avoid surgery since there is evidence that cataract surgery might lead to the development or progression of macular degneration. AN article was published in the Journal of Ophthalmology Feb 2009 entitled the Risk of Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration after Cataract Surgery in the Age-Related Eye Disease . This studied showed no clear effect of cataract surgery on the risk of progression to advanced AMD although it is contrary to previous studies.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract are 2 of the leading causes of visual impairment in the United States. The relationship between cataract surgery and the development of advanced AMD has generated interest among ophthalmologists. Concerns have been raised regarding the potential of cataract surgery to accelerate progression to advanced, vision-threatening forms of AMD in a number of studies.

In the AREDS population that was followed up carefully at frequent, regular intervals for a long period, it seems that cataract surgery was not associated with a clinically important increase in the rates of development of advanced AMD.

However, it remains important that individuals with large drusen and pigmentary changes have an understanding of their risk for progression to advanced AMD with or without cataract surgery and that this risk is discussed with the patient before cataract surgery. Persons with intermediate AMD (bilateral large drusen) or with unilateral advanced AMD should be aware of the fact that the risk of developing advanced AMD is as high as 50% in 5 years. These results are contrary to the results of some previously published epidemiologic studies, including 2 reports that each pooled data from different population-based studies.

The 5-year results of the Beaver Dam Eye Study and the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Study identified persons with and without a history of cataract extraction at a baseline examination and reexamined them for incident AMD at 5 and 10 years. They found an association between cataract surgery and the 5-year incidence of late AMD

For the Beaver Dam Eye Study, cataract surgery before baseline was associated with an increased risk of advanced AMD and in the Blue Mountains Eye Study, there was a 3-fold increased risk of advanced AMD .
I still caution individuals to delay cataract surgery until they have visually significant symptoms. I strongly recommend alternative treatments first for 3 months. If these don’t improve your vision so you don’t need surgery. At least your body and eye will be in better state of health to reduce the incidence of complications and the development or progression of macular degeneration.