We discuss brain health and physical mobility a lot on this blog, largely because they are primary concerns for the aging U.S. population. However, there are other medical issues that can severely affect your quality of life as you grow older, one of which is cataracts.
When cataracts develop in the eye, the lens becomes clouded and so does the sufferer’s vision. As of 2011, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) estimated that 22 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts. In fact, about half of people over the age of 80 were estimated to have cataracts. Living with cataracts can be challenging, as routine activities like driving can become dangerous. Reading or simply interpreting facial expressions can also become almost impossible.
Cataracts are currently treated through surgery, but rising healthcare costs and the aging baby boomer population have made prevention research a priority. Recently, the AAO announced that taking daily multivitamins may help counter cataracts risk, at least for men. According to an AAO press release, researchers compared the health records of male doctors over the age of 50 between 1997 and 2011. Half of the physicians under review took a multivitamin each day. The researchers found that this habit was linked to a small but notable decline in the rate of cataract diagnosis over the years.
“If multivitamins really do reduce the risk of cataract, even by a modest 10 percent, this rather small reduction would nonetheless have a large public health impact,” said William Christen, Sc.D, of Harvard Medical School – lead author of the study.
Further research is required to support this finding, but boosting the amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet may still be beneficial. Click here to read information about our multivitamins.