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

Will Eating Oily Fish Reduce My Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Dietary intake plays an important role in eye health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by consuming foods rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, and omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the risk of age-related eye health decline by up to 25 percent%. Studies agree that nutrient-rich foods will significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems, especially omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and herring. In fact, eating oily fish twice a week or the daily equivalent of 500mg of marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can decrease the risk of diabetic retinopathy in middle aged or older patients with type 2 diabetes as well as reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Will eating oily fish reduce my risk of diabetic retinopathy? Those who consume a minimum of 500mg of oily fish have a 48 percent% lower risk of developing diabetic retinopathy than those who eat less than 500mg per day. Omega-3 oils help to improve the function of the meibomian glands that produce the oily part of tears in the eye. The outer layer of tears is oily to prevent tears from drying up too quickly as well as coating the surface of the eye to keep it smooth. Fish oil also helps to reduce inflammation in the eyelids which can contribute to the symptoms of dry eye. Two forms of omega-3 fatty acid come in the forms of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Because cell membranes of the retina contain very high concentrations of DHA, these essential fatty acids can affect the health, normal development, and function of the cell membranes. Additionally, the rods and cones of the macula, (responsible for sharp, clear, straight-ahead vision, ) need omega-3 to function properly. 

The best treatment for diabetic retinopathy is early prevention. Over the last decade, many epidemiological studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may prevent or delay the development of retinal diseases including diabetic retinopathy. To assess the health of your retina, contact Associated Retina Consultants to schedule an exam. Retinal imaging can provide diagnostic and treatment options to delay progression of eye diseases and help determine if you have any underlying health concerns. Call today at 602-242-4928 or schedule online at WEBSITE