Can stress cause cataracts?
A new analysis of existing research suggests that emotional or psychological stress can be a consequence and a cause of vision loss. In the case of cataracts, the exact origin is not known. But, doctors believe that oxidative stress may play a part in the damages to enzymes and proteins in the lens.
Oxidative stress is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which can lead to cell and tissue damage. Although oxidative stress occurs naturally and plays a role in the aging process, it has also been linked to emotional or psychological stress as well. Because emotional or psychological stress is associated with increased oxidant production and oxidative damage, long-term exposure to emotional or psychological stressors may enhance the risk of many diseases associated with oxidative stress, including cataracts.
In fact, some of the risk factors associated with cataracts are also associated with oxidative stress: exposure to radiation, smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products, alcohol consumption, certain prescription medications, pollution, exposure to pesticides or industrial chemicals, obesity, diets high in fat, sugar and processed foods.
Can you prevent Cataracts?
There are several ways you can keep your eyes healthy, which may slow down cataract formation. Wearing UV protective sunglasses when in sunlight or in the car can protect your eyes from sun damage. Adjust your diet to include antioxidant rich foods, especially spinach and other leafy green vegetables. Take antioxidant supplements for the eye lens such as vitamins C, E, and A, lutein, meso-zeaxanthin, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin, saffron and glutathione.
Click here to learn more about some of the common causes for cataracts.