You’ve made it this far, but now it’s time to do something about it – your eyes. They’re not what they used to be. That’s OK, but you definitely need a strategy to cope. Here’s what you need to know.
Most people don’t think about nutrition as a key component of healthy eyesight, but it is – much more than you may realize. Part of eating healthy is choosing foods that are rich in antioxidants. Vitamins, like A and C from leafy green vegetables and organ meats and fish are especially important. Fish contain omega 3 fatty acids that are important to the health of the macula, which is the part of the eye that’s responsible for central vision.
A deficiency in vitamin A can cause night blindness and other vision problems, too, so make sure you get plenty of this vitamin. Proper retinol intake must be accompanied by sufficient fat, since vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. Many people choose to get their vitamin A indirectly, from beta carotene, which is abundant in vegetables.
But, this is not the same thing as getting vitamin A as retinol. First off, beta carotene must be converted in the body to retinol, which requires extensive resources to be used up by the body. Many people don’t convert beta carotene very well either, which means loading up on carrots and leafy greens may not be sufficient.
Load up on antioxidants. They will help you minimize oxidative stress. Reduce your intake of alcohol and saturated fats as this might create additional free radicals. But, do not be completely afraid of saturated and unsaturated fats. You do need them to assimilate fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, K, and E.
Diet Isn’t Enough
Some studies show that proper nutrition is important, but it’s not enough. Companies, like Bausch & Lomb have developed supplements like Ocuvite® Adult 50+ Lutein & Omega-3 Formula, which is an Omega 3 supplement. It’s targeted at those who are high-risk for macular degeneration.
The softgel contains 150mg of Omega 3 and 6mg of Lutein. It also contains vitamins C and E.
You could theoretically get all of this from diet. But, if you’re not a big eater, it will be difficult.
The body can’t manufacture Lutein or omega 3, so you must get it from diet.
Protect Your Eyes
LASIK, and other similar surgeries can help restore your vision if you suffer from myopia, hyperopia, or presbyopia. But, visual acuity isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. The sun can also damage your eyes because UV light damages cells – especially the sensitive cells in the eyes. Wear sunglasses.
Smoking is bad for the lungs, but it’s also bad for the eyes. While the connection isn’t clearly identified, it’s a fact that smoking will increase the risk of developing various conditions that do affect the eye. The American Lung Association’s smoking cessation program can be found online at www.ffsonline.org.
It’s important to get out and move around. But, walking may not be enough. Get out and jog, and hire a personal trainer to help you practice weightlifting. These types of exercise will help improve oxygen levels to the eyes and remove toxins.