A glass of wine for cataracts

With review and feedback from CEENTA Ophthalmologist Veena Rao, MD (Matthews, Monroe)

Many of us enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. Some of us may even have heard that it may have health benefits. You may be reading this because you heard in the news that small amounts of wine each week may help delay cataracts. While as physicians we wouldn’t suggest changing your wine habits because of cataracts, here is a little more detailed information on what you may see in the news.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is when the lens of your eye grows cloudy, preventing light rays from passing through. If the cloudiness is severe enough, it may blur your vision and/or cause glare.

How can wine help my eyes?

According to a recent study reported by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, people who drank moderate amounts of wine – six and a half glasses a week at most – had a 14 percent lower risk of needing cataract surgery than non-drinkers or people who drank other types of alcohol. People who drank one to two times and three to four times a week had a 7 percent and 6 percent lower risk of needing cataract surgery.

Why is wine beneficial?

Wine is high in antioxidants, which are known to have health benefits. Red wine has more antioxidants than white, but both have more than beer.

Is too much wine harmful?

Veena Rao, MD

You may be tempted to drink extra wine to further reduce your risk of developing cataracts. However, not only is there no additional benefit to your eyes, but you could cause harm in other ways, CEENTA Ophthalmologist Veena Rao, MD, said. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to liver damage, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer. As always, use your best judgement about your wine and alcohol intake for your overall health.

Cataract care at CEENTA

While a little wine may have some benefits, self-medicating is never good. If you believe you are developing cataracts, don’t try to drink away your problem. Visit a CEENTA ophthalmologist to get professional care from a surgeon who specializes in removing cataracts. The results will be permanent, and you won’t have to worry about any other medical issues.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our eye doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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