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Vision and Eye Health 2019

How to safeguard your sight

iStock / Getty Images Plus / Ridofranz

Dan McGhee

Director of Professional Services and MCOptom

Eat right for good sight

Eye-friendly nutrients found in many fruit and vegetables and fatty acids derived from fish, nuts and oils can all help protect your sight. Vitamins B and E can help protect against cataracts, while omega-3 fish oils help maintain healthy blood vessels inside the eye – research has shown that eating just one portion of fish a week can reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by up to 40%[1].

Quit smoking

Smokers have a significantly greater risk of sight loss than non-smokers. Toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the delicate surface and the internal structure of the eye. This can lead to an increased risk of many eye conditions including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), nuclear cataracts; thyroid eye disease; dry eye and poor colour vision.

Watch your weight

A body mass index (BMI) of 30+ doubles your risk of suffering age-related macular degeneration[2] and significantly increases your chances of developing cataracts.

Get fit

Aerobic exercise can help increase oxygen supplies to the optic nerve and lower any pressure that builds up in the eye. Reducing intraocular ‘eye’ pressure can help control conditions such as glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

Dietary supplements

There are lots of dietary supplements on the market that claim to be beneficial for eye health. There is no good evidence that the general population should be taking these supplements, but they may be helpful for some people who have existing AMD.

“You are what you eat doesn’t apply to your eyes”

Everyone knows that a healthy, balanced diet is good for your body, but it can also be good for your eyes. Enjoy a diet rich in spinach, kale, tuna and eggs to boost eye health.

[1] Chua, B., et al., Dietary fatty acids and the 5-year incidence of age-related maculopathy. Archives of Ophthalmology, 2006. 124(7): p. 981-986. | [2] RNIB

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