What you eat can determine how healthy you are, how you feel each day and even how long you live. You want to make sure you are eating foods with great nutrition so that all your body parts function at full capacity. Your vision health is especially important, as you only have two eyes for life. Use these tips and recommendations for cultivating better eye health through your nutrition, vitamin supplements and through healthy habits such as wearing eye protection!
Most everyone at one time or another has heard that if you want to improve/protect your vision eat carrots. Why is this? And is this true? Carrots and eye health have long been linked because of the Beta-carotene present in carrots. Beta-carotene is a great source of vitamin A and responsible for that orange hue carrots possess.
Vitamin A has been shown to improve how your eye retina function. Orange-colored veggies aren’t the only foods that can help your eyes. Green-colored veggies give your eyes powerful antioxidants. The proteins lutein and zeaxanthin lower your risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Leafy greens and veggies should be part of your daily diet for optimum eye health. (Eggs also have these two proteins (as well as zinc), so adding eggs to your leafy greens or sandwich can also get you on the path to wellness).
Vitamins and minerals are an integral part of a healthy diet. Vitamin C has long been known to help ward off sickness. Vitamin C (and E) have also been shown to lower your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Vitamin C sources are easy to find and are found in abundance in citrus fruits and berries.
Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that safeguards the tissues from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals harm cells, tissues, and organs and have been shown to contribute to age-related conditions.
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:
Eating for eye health can help protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) currently is a non-curable disease and deteriorates the central portion of the retina. The retina is a vital eye part that helps you see and interpret images. Over time, a patient suffering from AMD 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 mostly 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 has shown that people with diabetes or AMD can help ward off the effects of their conditions with a low-glycemic index diet. This will help the body (and eyes) by having normal blood sugar levels.
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).
At Peepers Optical, our Denver, Co, team of eye doctors and certified opticians are highly trained in performing a range of eye tests and exams. In addition to basic vision screening, we conduct eye health evaluations, prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, and check for any signs of ocular disease. Call 303-333-2800 to schedule an appointment for better vision!