Healthy Eyes and Good Vision

17 JUN 2020

Eye health

A healthy diet, active lifestyle and regular eye examinations can provide immediate and long term benefits to your eye health.

It is important to have a regular comprehensive eye exam so that your optometrist can detect vision problems or eye disease long before you are aware that a problem exists.

A recent report however stated that a high proportion of people feel that they should only see their optometrist if they have obvious problems such as not being able to see objects far away (82%) or up close (81%).

Many others (31%) believe that eating carrots is good enough to improve their eyesight.

Whilst carrots are high in antioxidants beta carotene and lutein, which have several beneficial effects on our eye health, there are many other vegetables which contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are better for our eyes. These include corn and leafy greens such as spinach, turnip greens, broccoli and kale which are full of antioxidants.

As well as these vegetables there are a number of other foods which can give our eyes a nutrient boost including fresh fruit, nuts and whole grains which contain vitamin E and omega-3 found in fish which can help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and slow the progress of cataracts.

Eating nutritious food for eye health can also help slow down or prevent the progression of many other diseases, aside from AMD and cataracts, including:

Dry Eye

This is caused by a chronic lack of moisture and lubrication on the surface of the eye. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna and sardines or flaxseed oil supplements can help to reduce dry eye symptoms.

Retinal Vein Occlusion

This occurs when one of the veins in the retina becomes blocked. High cholesterol and diabetes are two diseases that can cause this eye condition.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

This is a genetic degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness. A report has shown that people with the disease, over a four to six year period, who stick to a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids experience a slower decline in distance and visual acuities.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This is an eye disease in people who have diabetes which can cause vision loss and blindness. Exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and diet, not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption can help prevent this eye disease. Regular eye check-ups help to detect early symptoms, which may not be obvious. Avoid sugary drinks and foods with added artificial sugar such as processed and fast foods.

Eating for Eye Health

The Macular Disease Foundation Australia’s (MDFA) ‘Eating for Eye Health’ cookbook by Ita Buttrose and chef Vanessa Jones is loaded with delicious recipes made up of the foods we should eat to keep our eyes healthy.

The book features more than 90 recipes, carefully selected to make it easy to prepare delicious, nutritious meals that are good for our eye health featuring fish, yellow and dark green leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, and nuts.

Contact your local Eyecare Plus optometrist to book your next eye examination.

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