We all know that keeping a proper diet can work wonders for our body and for our weight. What can good nutrition do for eye health? Carrots are known for their health benefits for healthy vision, but what else helps the visual function and stay healthy? Good nutrition is not the only step to great eye health but also having frequent eye exams to check for visual changes and problems. Research also backs up the theory that antioxidants and other nutrients aid in the prevention of problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. We are devoted to keeping your vision clear, functioning and lasting through the years. Learn more about how you help your vision be healthier today!
Why are carrots so good for your eye health? Beta-carotene is a strong source of vitamin A that gives carrots their orange color. It also helps the retina function properly. Adding greens to your diet can also give you antioxidants that your eyes will love you for. The proteins lutein and zeaxanthin help lower your risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, so load up on the greens every chance you get! Eggs also have these two proteins (as well as zinc), so add an egg to your salad while you’re at it!
Getting proper vitamins and minerals in your diet will go a long way with keeping your body and your eyes healthy. Vitamin C is known to help ward off sicknesses. It also helps lower your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. This nutrient is naturally found in citrus fruits and berries. Vitamin E is next and can be found in foods such as almonds to lower your risk for macular problems. Getting enough DHA and omega-3 fatty acids can also help your vision by helping you avoid dry eye syndrome. The same type of fatty acid is found in your retina. It keeps your eyes moist with just the right consistency of oil and water.
Power foods that provide vitamin C, E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin A include:
Spinach and Kale
Wheat germ (vitamins C and E)
Seeds and nuts (vitamins C and E)
Grapefruit, strawberries, oranges, and papaya (high levels of vitamin C)
Green peppers (vitamin C)
Vegetable oils, citrus fruits in general, whole grains and cold water fish
Bilberry and vitamin supplements
Most of the healthy foods we mentioned all help fight off macular degeneration and cataracts. The retina helps us see and interpret images. AMD currently is a non-curable disease and deteriorates the central portion of the retina. Over time, a patient will have a dark spot in the center of their vision that will grow outwards until blindness occurs. Nearly 2.1 million Americans have AMD.
Cataracts is a chronic condition where the lens of the eye begins to turn cloudy. This will lead to blindness. The lens of the eye is made of water and protein. Over time, proteins can clump up, making your vision blurry. That blurriness is the cataract. Cataracts affect more than 24.4 million Americans over 40.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology tells us that people with diabetes or AMD can help ward off the effects of their conditions with a low-glycemic index diet. This will help your body (and eyes) by having normal blood sugar levels.
Besides a healthy diet, what else can you do to keep your vision healthy? Visit your ophthalmologist of course! (They are specialized after all.) We offer many services such as eye exams (even pediatric exams), screenings for common problems, vision changes and more. We actually have about 100 tests we could use to see if any abnormalities are present.
The American Optometric Association recommends that you have an eye exam at least every two years, if not more frequently. Children should receive their first pediatric exam at around 6 months of age, then again around age three and every two years between ages 6-18. Those between 18-60 years of age should see their doctor every 2 years or more frequently if they have prescription lenses or glasses to monitor vision changes. After age 61, vision progressively changes and generally diminishes. This is a stage where you will want to see your doctor every year to help prevent and monitor chronic eye conditions.
An exam is the first line of detection for problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Many times, we can see a problem that may not be noticeable to you. With our special equipment, we can also see inside your eyes and monitor your delicate tissues (like the retina and optic nerve).
To combat or prevent common eye problems, invest in good nutrition and professional care. Take those preventative measures today by scheduling your exam at Optical Masters at (720) 807-7600!