Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can considerably reduce the risk of eye health problems. Failing eyesight isn’t necessarily as a result of aging or eye strain. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), published in 2001, discovered that certain nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, zinc, and beta carotene may all help to reduce the risk of decline in eye health as a result of age by 25 percent.
Other studies found that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA), copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin are essential for eye health. Some studies have discovered that fish oil can reverse dry eye caused by spending too much time on a computer.
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A major cause of blindness is diabetes. People with diabetes should carefully monitor blood sugar levels, take medications exactly as prescribed by their doctor, and manage consumption of carbohydrate.
Early treatment for eye health problems can prevent them from getting worse. So people who notice changes in their vision should see an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Warning Signs for Eye Health
Possible symptoms that a person may be experiencing vision trouble include:
- seeing distorted images
- reduced peripheral vision
- frequent changes in visual clarity
- seeing floaters or flashes in the field of vision
Ten best foods for eye health
According to the AREDS, the following 10 nutrient-rich foods are vital for eye health:
Fishes are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish are fish that have oil in their gut and body tissue. Consuming them offers higher levels of omega-3-rich fish oil. The fishes include:
Leafy green vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin and are also a rich source of vitamin C. Leafy greens include:
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C which contains antioxidant vital for fighting age-related eyed problems. Citrus fruits rich in vitamin C include:
Nuts and legumes
Just like fish, nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts contains vitamin E which can protect the eye from age-related damage. Nuts and legumes that are good for eye health include:
- Brazil nuts
Seeds are also high in omega-3s and are a rich source of vitamin E. Seeds high in omega-3 include:
- flax seeds
- chia seeds
- hemp seeds
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Carrots contains both Vitamin A and beta carotene. Beta carotene gives carrots their orange color. Vitamin A plays a vital role in vision. It is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina to absorb light.
Eggs are good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can reduce the risk of age-related vision loss. Eggs are also good sources of vitamins C and E, and zinc.
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene. They are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
Beef is rich in zinc, which has been linked to better long-term eye health. Zinc can help delay age-related sight loss. The eye contains high levels of zinc, especially in the retina, and the vascular tissue surrounding the retina. Chicken breast and pork loin also contain zinc, but at lower levels than beef.
Drinking lots of water can prevent dehydration which may reduce the symptoms of eye dryness.
Recommended daily intake
According to AAO, the current daily recommendations for healthy eye nutrients to slow the progression of eye disease, are:
- 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
- 400 international units of vitamin E
- 10 mg lutein
- 2 mg zeaxanthin
- 80 mg of zinc oxide
- 2 mg of copper oxide
Health Tips for Eyes
The following strategies can help to ensure healthy eyes:
- Excessive sun exposure causes cataracts, so wearing sunglasses outside helps
- stop smoking
- Get regular eye exams, especially if there is a family history of eye disease
- Put on eye protection when working with eye irritants or dangerous chemicals
- washing hands properly before applying contacts
- wear contacts only for the period recommended by the doctor or manufacturer
- protect eyes from computer-related eye strain by looking away every 20 minutes at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.