It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Rahul Reddy. Click here to read more
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Rahul Reddy. Click here to read more Patient Portal Career Center (602) 242-4928

Nurturing Retinal Health: Lifestyle Choices That Promote Optimal Vision

Have you ever wondered how exactly the parts of the eye work together to function? Think of the eye as a camera. The iris, the colored part of the eye, controls how much light is let into the pupil, the black opening at the center of the iris that adjusts in size. These 2 parts of the eye function like a camera shutter. Next, the light passes through the lens, the clear, inner part of the eye. The lens works together with the cornea to focus light correctly on the retina. These parts of the eye are like the film in an old camera. The retina then converts that light into electrical signals that are sent through the optic nerve to the brain to interpret the images we see, just like a developed photograph. Except the human eye is far more advanced than any digital device. It only takes the light 0.0000000001 seconds to pass through the eye and travel from the cornea to the retina. 

Why, of all those components of the eye that are necessary to function together, is the retina subject to retinal diseases that produce often irreversible and damaging side effects? While many retinal diseases are related to factors outside of our control such as natural aging, family history of retinal disease or eye trauma, we have control of other causes that lead to the development of retinal disease. If you want to take proactive steps for nurturing retinal health, lifestyle choices that promote optimal vision will need to take priority. Get rid of any unhealthy habits that are not only harmful to the body as a whole but specifically affect ocular health. These include avoiding regular eye exams, poor diet of high sugar foods and drinks, processed foods, foods high in trans fats, white flour-based foods and smoking. Smoking causes oxidative stress, reduces blood flow in the eye tissues, causes the formation of drusen, fatty deposits on the retina that lead to early macular degeneration, and thins the choroid, the layer of the retina that contains blood vessels. Many forms of retinal disease are caused by swelling or leaking blood vessels into the retina. 

To promote retinal health and subsequently safeguard vision, incorporate moderate exercise into your lifestyle routine. Aerobic exercise stimulates healthy blood circulation including the eyes which ensures the retina receives adequate oxygen and nutrients. Speaking of nutrients, what you eat is equally as important as what you do not eat. Make sure your diet includes foods and supplements associated with healthy vision. These include vitamins A, C, E, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin. Simply consuming foods loaded with antioxidants is fundamental to preserving and maintaining healthy eyesight. You can find these benefits in foods like carrots, dark, green vegetables, bright-colored citrus fruits, oily fish, nuts and seeds. In addition to moving more, eating less junk food and adding better quality foods to your diet, protect your eyes from the sun. Those ultraviolet rays aren’t just harmful to the skin, they can have similar effects on the eyes. Make sure your sunglasses have UV-blocking filters so that harmful light does not penetrate the retina distorting images like a poor functioning camera. 
Your eyes are the key to your view of the world. Associated Retina Consultants wants to help you achieve the clearest and most vibrant images, but the layers of the eye need to be at their best to function correctly. A simple eye exam can provide answers to any changes in vision you may be experiencing as well as early detection of any issues of the retina. Call 602-242-4928 or visit WEBSITE for more information on nurturing retinal health to promote optimal vision.