Innovations in the way we are able to treat debilitating eye health issues have enabled us to change people’s lives. Degenerating vision is not always the life-sentence it used to be, allowing those who suffer to appreciate a new lease of life.
But did you know that eye health isn’t all down to the luck of the draw? Of course, genetics plays a part, and some people have issues from birth, but for the rest of us there are things you can do to ensure your eyes work better for longer.
A great place to start is to take a look at your diet. Every organ and system in our body depends on us to nourish it with a good intake of food. Your eyes are no different; they require their own set of vitamins and minerals to ensure they stay sharp and focused.
Most people have heard about the connection between carrots and vision. It is an old wives’ tale that carrots help you see in the dark, but the beta-carotene they provide is definitely beneficial. Several green leafy vegetables actually provide much more beta-carotene, and so it is worth upping your intake of these.
Here are some other essential vitamins and minerals you really should be eating to prevent age-related eye disorders:
Omega-3 fatty acids: A lack of essential fatty acids can cause dry-eye syndrome. Omega 3 fats are found in red meat, dairy produce, fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood.
Lutein and zeaxanthin: Reduces the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, it is found in green fruit and vegetables, nuts, eggs and carrots.
Zinc: An important mineral for the immune system, zinc builds a barrier against diseases of the eye. It works with vitamin A to create a protective pigment called melanin. Red meat and poultry are the best sources of zinc. However, it is also found in beans, nuts, seafood, grains, eggs and dairy.
Vitamin b: A diet lacking in b vitamins can cause eye irritation and redness, fatigue and light sensitivity, as well as the development of cataracts and eye movement issues. There are various sub-categories of b vitamins, but the most important for eye health are b1, b2 and b12 which can be found in fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds and mushrooms.
Vitamin c: Promotes the health of the delicate blood vessels leading to the eyes, helping to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin C is abundant in fruits, salad and leafy greens.
Vitamin e: Slows macular degeneration and is found in nuts and vegetable oils.
Eating a diet rich in just one or two of these nutrients is not enough, since the blend of vitamins and minerals are needed for maximum absorption. Generally eating a well-balanced diet keeps the rest of your body in tip-top shape, which prevents a negative knock-on effect on your eyes. Diabetes, for example, is the leading cause of blindness through retinopathy in adults, so eating a diet low in sugar and other foods that raise your blood sugar will keep this prominent illness at bay.
Another disease with negative connections to eye health is celiac disease. Caused by gluten intolerance, many sufferers also have problems with their eyes as the gluten restricts blood circulation to them. Gluten, mostly found in wheat, is proven to cause inflammation in the eyes, which can become glaucoma. It also has a significant impact on your blood sugar levels. For this reason, it is advisable to avoid foods rich in gluten such as bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits and cereals, and if you must indulge, try to stick with whole wheat varieties.
It is also recommended that you don’t look to processed foods to provide you with the vitamins you need. The manufacturing process usually strips foods of most of their nourishment, and so you should not rely on these foods for eye health. Conversely, frozen fruits and vegetables are often a fantastic source of essential minerals since the foods are frozen as soon as they are picked, retaining more of their nutrients than fresh foods.
While most of the vitamins and minerals listed above can be found in supplement format, there is no supplement that reverses auto-immune diseases. There are plenty of drugs that are used to treat them, but these also have highly destructive side effects, and can cause damage to the smaller blood vessels in the eye. If you can eat a diet rich in the foods you need, and with fewer of the ones you don’t, you can ensure that you never have to use these drugs.
Even if you already suffer from eye problems, keeping these points in mind can help reduce the symptoms or at least prevent them getting worse. But if all else fails, our world class surgeons can help correct many eye problems. Contact us on 0808 168 9257 and see if we could give you a new lease of life.