Can Certain Foods Help Save Vision?

We’re all familiar with the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” and how a balanced diet is essential for one’s health. But can certain foods actually help save the vision of your patients?

 

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) conducted over a decade ago revealed that there are nutritional supplements that can minimize the risk of AMD. The AREDS2 preliminary findings also reveal that lifestyle adjustments and nutritional supplements can help reduce one’s risk for AMD.

 

As Robert Able Jr., MD, shared with Ophthalmology Management, most treatments for age-related eye diseases can be quite expensive, but these procedures can be prevented if ocular nutrition is taken seriously and patients start adding the right foods and supplements to their diet.

 

fruits and vegetablesSo which foods and supplements might be able to help save the vision of your patients dealing with age-related eye problems? Below are a few recommendations.

 

  • Fish, spinach, kale, turnip greens, corn, squash, and pumpkins that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are helpful for patients who have cataracts, category 3 or 4 AMD, or a family history of AMD. Lutein and zeaxanthin help decrease the risk of damage to the inner eye caused by light.

 

  • Components of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically dietary DHA, have proven to reduce the risk of developing AMD by 38%, according to a Women’s Health Study on over 38,000 participants. Omega-3 fatty acids are also known for protecting adult eyes from dry eye syndrome, aiding in draining intraocular fluid from the eye, and decreasing the risk of high eye pressure and glaucoma. Salmon, tuna, flaxseeds, walnuts, and leafy green vegetables are also recommended as sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

 

  • Nuts and seeds rich in vitamin E may also help prevent the development of cataracts and AMD. This antioxidant protects cell membranes throughout the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Of course, comprehensive, preventive eye exams are an essential step toward good eye health, so be sure to encourage that your patients have regular exams in addition to maintaining a balanced diet. Exams that include ultra-widefield imaging help spot certain age-related eye issues in their earliest stages and can help save patients from significant vision loss.

 

Visit the Optos website to learn more about our ultra-widefield retinal imaging technology and our imaging devices.

 

Image courtesy of lkunlFreeDigitalPhotos.net