Eyes

5 Ways to Prevent Cataracts and Protect Your Vision As You Age

Five ways to keep your vision sharp as you age.

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Feel like your eyesight isn’t as crystal-clear as it used to be? Up to 66 percent of us are noticing the same thing. After age 40, proteins in the lenses of your eyes can start clumping together, leading to vision-clouding cataracts. The great news: Experts say you can prevent cataracts naturally and keep your vision sharp for years to come!

Try the ‘eye nutrient.’

You don’t need pricey supplements to protect against cataracts — you can stop them with a little C! Spanish scientists say taking 500 mg. of vitamin C (like Nature’s Bounty Vitamin C, $11, Amazon) twice daily cuts cataract risk by 64 percent and blocks their growth if you already have them. Marc Grossman, O.D., co-author of Natural Eye Care, says this powerful antioxidant inactivates free radicals before they can damage the lens of your eye and cloud your vision. Note: Check with a doctor before supplementing.

Slip on shades.

Donning sunglasses (even on overcast days) cuts the risk of cataracts in half by shielding your eyes from harmful UVB rays. The best part: Dollar store sunglasses block 98 percent or more of cataract-triggering rays, making them as effective as pricier shades!

Just step away.

Strange but true: Just stepping away from the microwave after you press the “start” button can safeguard your sight! That’s the word from FDA researchers, who say while microwaves often emit small amounts of radiation that can fuel cataract growth, moving as little as two feet away instantly cuts your exposure by 99 percent!

Snack on berries.

These sweet gems boast anthocyanins that keep blood vessels in your eyes healthy, boosting the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your lenses. No wonder Swedish scientists say nibbling on a cup of berries daily can put the brakes on cataract formation in just one week, plus cut the risk of developing cataracts by 42 percent if your vision is clear.

Savor a stroll.

Age-proof your eyes with a walk in the park? Yes! UCLA scientists say 30 minutes of exercise daily halts cataract growth by 70 percent. Ophthalmologist Tyler Rim, M.D., says gentle exercise turns on genes that slow aging of the blood vessels and tissues in your eyes.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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