Let’s Talk About One of the Most Common Eye Diseases
One of the most commonly heard of eye diseases is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD).
This disease is most common in people over 50 years old. The macula is the part of the retina responsible for central vision. When looking at something in your direct line of sight, whether near or far, this is the part of your eyes you are using. In ARMD, the macula is affected, causing reduced or blurred central vision. There are several steps you can take to help prevent ARMD in your life. The most important thing you can do is to have routine annual eye exams to identify any early signs. Smokers are more likely to develop ARMD, so add this to the long list of reasons not to smoke. Other lifestyle habits you can adopt are exercising regularly and adopting a healthy diet high in nutrients your eyes need.
According to Nebraska Medicine, the five best foods for your eye health are carrots, kale, red peppers, salmon, and oysters. Carrots provide beta-carotene, which is used to make vitamin A. If your vitamin A is insufficient, you may notice dry eye, night blindness, and vision loss. Kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin which are antioxidants that are naturally found in your maculas. They help to protect your retinas from blue light from the screens you look at during your day. Red and orange fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to prevent the development of cataracts. Salmon and other fish have omega-3 fatty acids that promote healthy retinas and can also help to prevent dry eye. Last but not least, oysters are loaded with zinc. Zinc has been shown to be able to slow the progression of ARMD! Other foods that contain zinc include turkey, eggs, peanuts, and whole grains. By adding these foods to your diet, you can help keep your eyes healthy!
Meghan Guinotte, OD
“Dry Macular Degeneration.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 23 Nov. 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-macular-degeneration/symptoms-causes/syc-20350375#:~:text=Dry%20macular%20degeneration%20is%20a,the%20direct%20line%20of%20sight.
“5 Best Foods for Eye Health.” Nebraska Medicine, Nebraska Medicine, 22 Mar. 2022, https://www.nebraskamed.com/eye-care/5-best-foods-for-eye-health.