Healthy diet can protect against eye cataracts

SCIENTISTS believe a healthy diet could greatly reduce the world's most common cause of blindness.

A new study suggests cutting out fatty food and salt significantly protected women from cataracts.

Although diet was the biggest risk factor, smoking and obesity were also linked to the disease, as was having brown eyes, being short-sighted and having high blood pressure.

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Dr Julie Mares, of the University of Wisconsin, in the United States, said: "Lifestyle improvements that include healthy diets, smoking cessation and avoiding obesity may substantively lower the need for and economic burden of cataract surgery."

Cataracts are primarily an age-related condition, caused when cloudy patches appear in the lens of the eye, making vision blurred or misty.

In the UK, more than half of people over the age of 65 are believed to have some cataract development in one or both of their eyes.