Our March theme of discussions about senior vision continues. Lifestyle changes, including good nutrition, can help delay or prevent certain eye problems in older adults. According to All About Vision, here’s how to protect aging eyes.
Age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts commonly cause impaired vision and blindness in older adults. But lifestyle changes, including good nutrition, could help delay or prevent certain eye problems.
Besides adopting a healthy diet, you can help protect your eyes by avoiding prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays and high-energy blue light, quitting smoking and getting annual eye exams.
During a dilated eye exam, your eye doctor can carefully examine the health of your eyes and check for eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Detecting these conditions early may help prevent permanent vision loss.
Diet, Antioxidants And Healthy Eyes
Diet is an extremely important part of the daily lifestyle choices you make. Foods you eat and the dietary supplements you take affect your overall health as well as the health of your eyes.
Older couple making salad.
Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables for optimum eye health.
A diet high in saturated fat and sugar may increase your risk of eye disease. On the other hand, healthy foods such as greens and fruits may help prevent certain eye diseases and other health problems.
Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and eye conditions including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have been shown to occur less frequently in people who eat diets rich in vitamins, minerals, healthy proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and lutein.
All healthy diets should include ample amounts of fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables. In fact, experts recommend that you consume at least five to nine servings of these foods daily.
Choose dark green or brightly colored fruits and vegetables to obtain the most antioxidants, which protect your eyes by reducing damage related to oxidizing agents (free radicals) that can cause age-related eye diseases.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are plant pigments called carotenoids that have been shown to protect the retina from oxidative changes caused by ultraviolet light. Spinach and kale are excellent food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are also found in sweet corn, peas and broccoli.
Vitamin A, vital for healthy vision, is found in orange and yellow vegetables such as carrots and squash. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant.