MONTREAL – HEALTH – Deteriorating eyesight is becoming more and more common. As North Americans grow older they are plagued with various eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, or glaucoma. It is important to take steps to maintain vision because vision loss can seriously affect quality of life. Researchers expect that the number of people with vision loss or blindness will double by 2050.
Important habits that support eye health and help maintain vision:
1 – Eat an eye-healthy diet with best nutrients for vision
What you eat plays a significant role in supporting your eye health and protecting against age-related eye health changes such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Here are some of the most important nutrients for your vision.
Vitamin A is one of the best eye nutrients that is essential for maintaining the photoreceptors and particularly for night vision. Vitamin A can be found in carrots, kale, and spinach. Other rich sources of vitamin A include egg yolks and dairy products.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is a co-enzyme that can help maintain normal vision and can be found in beef liver, lamb, milk and yogurt.
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that protects our retina and lens against photooxidative damage. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetable including bell peppers, citrus fruit, kale and broccoli.
Vitamin E is a potent biological antioxidant. Vitamin E protects our eyes by scavenging free radicals. Cellular damage caused by free radicals in the retina of the eye has been implicated in the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Some of the known dietary sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds and oils.
Zinc serves as an antioxidant and is involved in the maintenance of normal vitamin A metabolism, and maintenance of normal vision. Zinc can be found in oysters, meat, pumpkin seeds and peanuts.
Lutein & zeaxanthin are natural carotenoids found in the macula of the eye. It is believed that lutein and zeaxanthin have antioxidant properties that protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. They also appear to block blue light from reaching the structure of the retina. This reduces the risk of light-induced oxidative damage, which could lead to AMD. It is widely reported that low dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin is associated with higher risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Rich sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are leafy greens, peas, summer squash and Brussels sprouts. Supplements are an easy way to ensure you are getting these two important nutrients for optimal eye health and protecting your eyes against macular degeneration.
Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, has been scientifically proven to help age-related macular degeneration. Based on recent research saffron activates mechanisms of self-defense and self-repair in the retina of the eye protecting it against oxidative damage.
Getting all the vitamins and minerals on a daily basis to optimize your eyesight can be a challenge. Consider taking a high quality supplement to ensure that your eyes are getting the nutrients they need every day.
2 – Quit smoking! Smoking is a major threat to your eye health as it puts undue oxidative stress on the retina and the lens of the eye. Heavy metals contained in tobacco smoke accumulate in the lens and lead to the formation of cataracts.
3 – Wear sunglasses as it protects your eyes from the harmful effects of blue light that contribute to cataracts and macular degeneration. Sunglasses also protect your eyes from sand or other particles from scratching your eyes.
4 – Exercise regularly by walking 30 minutes at a brisk pace 3 times per week. It will help you maintain your weight and keep your body in shape.
By taking these easy steps, you are protecting your eyes and optimizing your eye health. If you already have the early stages of any eye disease like macular degeneration you should consider taking a good quality eye supplement daily, wearing sunglasses, getting regular exercise and of course quitting smoking. We also recommend regular eye exams at least every two years or as instructed by your eye doctor or optometrist.