Habits for a Healthy Retina
You may have noticed that the older you get the more likely it is that something will go wrong. Just about any article on eye health will make mention of at least one thing to keep on your radar. This rule of caution is not meant to discourage but rather encourage you to adopt habits that maintain your eye health and vision. From cataracts to glaucoma to changes in vision, after age 40, we have more and more reasons to live a healthy lifestyle, not just specific to our eyes but the whole body.
Habits for a healthy retina will also provide nutritional and physical benefits to your whole body. Eyes require proper hydration, oxygen, and nutrition. Just as the heart relies on large arteries to pump blood and keep it working, the eyes rely on tiny arteries in the body to function too. Eating plenty of vitamin and nutrient-rich food can prevent against certain eye diseases such as cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration as well as protecting the retina, the light sensitive-layer of tissue at the back of the eye responsible for sending signals to the brain by way of the optic nerve to interpret the images you see. As a child you were probably told carrots were good for the eyes. And that is true. Carrots contain beta-carotene which the body uses to make vitamin A. Insufficient vitamin A can lead to dry eyes, night blindness, corneal scarring, and vision loss. Cantaloupe, apricots, and sweet potatoes are other great sources of vitamin A. In fact, sweet potatoes contain more than 200% of the daily recommendation of Vitamin A. Vitamin C is also crucial for eye health. Vitamin C serves as an antioxidant that protects the body from damage. Good sources of vitamin C include oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, peaches, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries. Leafy green vegetables that contain lutein and zeaxanthin will help delay certain eye conditions as well as protect the macula, the area of the eye responsible for central vision, located in the retina. These include kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, collards, turnip greens, broccoli, and peas. Additionally, eggs are a good source of these nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids from cold water fish also help reduce risks associated with eye disease. These fish include salmon, halibut, trout, tuna, and sardines. ZiInc is a mineral that keeps the retina healthy and wards off the damaging effects associated with light. Black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and lima beans as well as oysters, lean red meat, poultry, and fortified cereals are also great sources of zinc.
In addition to consuming healthy foods and increasing your water intake to keep your body and eyes hydrated, other habits for a healthy retina include quitting smoking, researching your family medical history, protecting the eyes from ultraviolet rays, controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and having regular dilated eye exams. Eye exams can provide early detection before the onset of any retinal symptoms. To schedule your exam call Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or book easily and conveniently online here at WEBSITE.