Eye Health

Eye Health

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In the next several months, different organizations will be honoring specific eye health months such as Glaucoma Awareness Month and AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month. This prompted me to write a general article on eye health. Now it is time to help those (like me) who have no specific eye problem, but want to take every step in preventing it from happening.

When we look (pun intended) at ocular health challenges, the number one common thread in treating and preventing them from occurring is the consumption of antioxidants. Whether it is as simple as night blindness or as serious as Macular Degeneration, antioxidants play a critical role. A diet high in antioxidant containing foods is a great start. Fruits and vegetables are where you will find a majority of these potent eye health nutrients. Look (no pun intended again) for fruits and veggies with lots of color. More specifically, yellow, red and orange foods are the best when it comes to your eyes. Berries seem to top the list of foods if you wanted to get more specific. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries can be consumed daily to provide you with the boost you need to fight off many of the more serious eye health challenges. ¼-1/2 cup per day will usually do the trick.

If getting your antioxidants from food is a challenge (regretfully these foods are expensive compared to other foods you may need to purchase) then taking a blended/combination supplement targeting eye health is a great idea. Seek out supplements that combine ingredients that support eye health. Other than fruit and berry extracts, Astaxanthin, Zeaxanthin, Lutien, and other mixed carotenoids are always at the top of my list.

Adding an Omega-3 fatty acid from fish/krill will give you the extra nutritional support your eyes need. DHA (found in marine sourced omega-3s) is critical for developing and maintaining healthy eyes. I recommend 1-3 grams of Omega-3s per day to get the job done.

Beside diet and supplement changes, wearing a quality pair of sunglasses can do wonders at protecting your eyes from free radical damage. Being fashionable doesn’t mean you are protected. Many of the high end sunglasses that look great won’t give you the protection you need. Make sure your sunglasses bock UVA and UVB rays. Just because your sunglasses are tinted doesn’t mean you are protected-read the labels. Overexposure to the harmful effects of UV rays will lead to many of the more serious eye health problems we face.

Finally, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, reduction of the amount of alcohol you consume (no more than 1 serving per day) and eating a diet low in bad fats (animal fats and cooking oils) will help reduce your risk of eye problems in the future. Getting other health challenges such as Diabetes and High Blood pressure under control will increase the overall health of your eyes. If you wish to see clearly for years to come, I recommend you employ these few suggestions as soon as possible.