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Eye News: Vitamin C Could Reduce the Development/Progression of Cataracts

30th May 2016


As cited on Medical News Today, a study published in Ophthalmology suggests that diet and lifestyle, rather than genetics, may have the most significant impact on cataract development, and vitamin C could cut the risk of the disorder by one third.

This news is a positive development in the prevention of the condition; however cataracts are still the number one cause of blindness in the world despite increased availability of cataract surgery. A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light and is conventionally treated with surgery.

The study carried out by the Kings College London within a 10 year period reported that “the first measurement linked a high vitamin C intake with around 20% lower risk of cataracts. The 10-year assessment revealed a 33% lower risk of cataract progression in women whose diet was rich in foods containing vitamin C.

A summary of the study concluded that “genetic factors were responsible for 35% of the difference in cataract progression, while environmental factors, such as diet, accounted for 65%, suggesting that genetic impact on cataract development may be less significant than previously believed.”

It’s important to note that the vitamin C was consumed through foods and not through vitamin supplements.

What are the options when Cataracts do develop?

The only proven treatment that is effective and reverses the effect of cataract is surgical removal of the natural lens and implantation of an artificial lens. The cataract removal procedure is a routine procedure which takes between 5 and 15 minutes to perform. Whilst the NHS offers an excellent service for cataract surgery, there is rarely an option for choosing your intraocular lens, meaning that glasses will almost certainly be required after surgery.

Cataract Surgery with LaserVision however will give you the option to choose the best intraocular lens to suit your lifestyle post cataract surgery, thus reducing dependency on glasses or contacts. Your LaserVision consultant surgeon can expertly guide you through your options.

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