Protect your eyes with antioxidants

Cataracts are one of the most common conditions of aging -- so common, that many seniors assume these vision problems are unavoidable.

They're not.

Cataracts are caused by oxidative damage in the lens of the eye. Since antioxidants fight that damage, they can help prevent cataracts and vision problems -- and that's why new research confirms that a diet rich in these nutrients can slash your cataract risk by 13 percent.

While the study was on women, I have no doubt we'd see similar results in men. The only flaw in this study is that it looked only at total antioxidants and didn't attempt to sort out which ones might be best for preventing cataracts and other vision problems.

That's where I come in -- because I've been keeping track of the research on this, and I can tell you exactly which nutrients are best for the eyes, especially cataracts.

Start with the basics: vitamins A, C and E. They're especially efficient at getting into the eye and working to undo the damage of oxidative stress, and I believe that a diet rich in these nutrients will cut your cataract risk by a lot more than 13 percent.

And if cataracts are already starting to form, it's not too late -- boosting your antioxidant intake now can help delay or even prevent surgery.

Along with the nutrients I just mentioned, add bilberry to the mix. In one study, 100 mg of vitamin E and 360 mg of bilberry per day delayed the progression of cataracts in 97 percent of patients.

The key is starting on these natural treatments early -- but because many people are often in denial about vision problems, they tend to wait. And many don't seek help until it's too late.

Don't wait.

If you can't see as well as you used to -- or if you spouse or friends are commenting on your vision (or maybe your driving) -- get help now so you can avoid the scalpel later.