Eat your Way to Healthy Eyes
Healthy eyes starts with the food you put on your plate. Your mother was right when she encouraged you to eat your carrots! And even if you’re still not a fan of carrots or you can’t get your own children to eat them, the good news is there are other healthy options to incorporate into your diet to promote healthy eyes.
Why are healthy eyes important? Because good eyesight is one of the most important things you can do to help maintain your quality of life.
Tips on Maintaining Good Eyesight
Foods that contain the following nutrients can help reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD):
- Vitamin C (papayas, red bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries and oranges)
- Antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, kale and broccoli)
- Vitamin E (nuts, fortified cereals)
- Zinc (cheese, yogurt, beans, nuts, seeds)
Incorporating these foods into your daily diet is quite easy because of their variety, texture and taste. The Canadian Association of Optometrists offers some simple recipes that put a healthy spin on snack time and provide your eyes with the nutrients they need.
While these general food recommendations can apply to everyone, it’s best to consult with your optometry team at our eye clinic or your family doctor before making any nutritional changes to your diet or before you start taking any new supplements.
What is AMD?
AMD is a condition that causes the centre of your vision to blur while the side or peripheral vision reminds unaffected. The blurring is the result of damage to the macula, the central most part of the retina, the inner layer of the back of the eye responsible for detailed central vision. The macula is used for reading, driving, and recognizing faces. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in North American adults over the age of 55.
Protecting your eyes from UV rays and following a good nutrition plan play a key role in preventing AMD. Regular eye examinations at our eye clinic by our optometry staff are also important in the early detection of AMD.
Your optometrist may notice early signs of AMD during the eye examination even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms.
Your Eyes Uncover the Truth
Although eating nutritious meals and snacks is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health, sometimes it’s not enough. You need to consider lifestyle, genetics, and environmental factors that may make you more susceptible to certain diseases.
There are many health conditions that can be detected early by your optometrist during your routine eye examination at our eye clinic well before you start to show any signs of disease. An eye examination may save your life. Your eyes are truly a window into the rest of your body!
If a problem is detected during your eye examination, your eye doctor or optometrist will work with your family physician and other health care specialists in treating the systemic disease. Treatment varies, depending on the condition, and can range from drugs for inflammatory diseases, laser therapy or surgery.
Various systemic diseases affect the eyes differently. It’s important to have regular eye examinations at our eye clinic if you or a family member is affected by one of the following, among others:
- Graves’ disease (thyroid disorder)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis
Your Optometrist: A Trusted Health Advisor
Our optometry team at our vision centre plays an important and ongoing role in ensuring the health of you and your family.
We provide primary eye care by addressing both eye health and vision concerns and identify health conditions that are detected through eye examinations.
At Glen Abbey Vision Centre, we provide you and your family with the highest quality of vision care, including: examination, diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of disease and disorders affecting the visual system, the eye and related structures.
Our team also provides vision correction through glasses or contact lenses.