To keep your eyes healthy, make sure that your diet is rich in vitamins C, D and E (the antioxidants) and minerals by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, especially the green leafy variety such as cabbage and broccoli. They contain nutrients that protect the sensitive microcirculation in the retina.
Avoid eye strain by…
- Making sure that you get enough sleep
- Taking frequent short breaks when using a computer
- Having adequate lighting for reading and working
- Protecting your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays found in bright sunlight
- Wearing 100 percent UVA and UVB blocking sunglasses
- Giving your eyes an occasional soothing treat, with an infusion of the herb eyebright or marigold or weak salt water. Cooled boiled water with a teaspoon of honey melted in it is also refreshing and cooling.
Preventing eye problems
Common degenerative eye diseases are glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration (damage to the area at the centre of the retina). This causes loss of sight at the centre of the field of vision and is due most commonly to the natural ageing process. Many experts suggest that degenerative eye diseases can all be traced back mostly to free radical-reactive molecules which bombard us every day. Free radicals can damage healthy cells, eventually leading to disease, if not kept under control by the body’s own defence system. Considerable research indicates that we can minimise and even possibly reverse this damage by reducing our exposure to free radicals, doing moderate exercise, eating a healthy diet and taking vitamin and mineral supplements, especially antioxidants.
If you are a smoker and you stop smoking, you will substantially reduce your chances of macular degeneration and cataracts. Reducing your alcohol consumption would also be helpful. Dietary recommendations include eating five to nine servings of fresh fruit and vegetables each day, and increasing consumption of omega 3 and 6 fats, found in fish oils and flax seed oils. Some experts recommend taking vitamins B2, C and E will help improve eyesight of people who have cataracts, and that lutein lycopene carotenoid supplements should be taken for macular degeneration. Lipoic acid and magnesium can be used for the treatment of glaucoma. Research also shows that grape seed, pine bark extracts and bilberry extract have a beneficial effect on cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
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