Looking After Your Long-Term Eye Health
Did you know that what you eat can affect your eyes? Proper nutrition plays an important role in protecting your eyes from diseases that can cause vision loss. Your eye health is closely tied to your overall health. Poor health, genetic history, and autoimmune disorders like diabetes all factor into your long-term eye health.
Your eye doctor at Burlington Optometry can help you understand how food affects your eyes, and give you tips on how to improve your nutrition to prevent poor vision.
Nutrition & Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that causes blurry central vision. Untreated AMD is the leading cause of blindness among North American adults over 55. If diagnosed early through an eye exam, your doctor can work with you to develop a treatment plan.
AMD is caused by the thinning of the macula over time, which causes blood vessels to swell and leak. Poor nutrition is closely associated with AMD. Your eye doctor at Burlington Optometry has the resources and experience to help you learn about preventing AMD.
How Does Food Affect Your Eyes?
Your eyes are sensitive to your overall health. Eye diseases can be caused by increased sun exposure, smoking, poor diet and exercise habits, and other health issues. Eating the right foods can preserve your vision for longer, and help prevent you from developing eye diseases.
It’s important to know what vitamins and nutrients your eyes need to stay healthy in the long term, and what foods you can add to your everyday diet to promote eye health.
Vitamin A is an essential part of your eye health. Vitamin A helps keep your cornea, the transparent outer layer of your eye, clear. It also helps produce a protein called rhodopsin, which helps with low-light vision.
Foods Rich in Vitamin A
- Red bell peppers
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce eye pressure and inflammation, which helps prevent eye diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. If you don’t have enough omega-3-rich food in your diet, you can talk to your eye doctor about fish oil supplements.
Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
Lutein is found in the macula, which is the central part of the retina. The retina is located on the back wall of your eye and is sensitive to light. Lutein is a carotenoid, which is a beneficial antioxidant for your eye health. Lutein helps protect the macula from harmful light.
Foods Rich in Lutein
- Bell peppers
Zeaxanthin, like lutein, is also a carotenoid. A carotenoid is a pigment that helps protect your retina and macula from harmful light. Excessive light exposure has been linked to eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.
Foods Rich in Zeaxanthin
- Brussels sprouts
Vitamin C is high in antioxidants, which are essential for your eye health. Vitamin C produces collagen, a powerful connective tissue that helps maintain eye structure. Healthy vitamin C levels have been linked to a reduced risk of cataracts.
Foods with Vitamin C
Genetic Testing & AMD
At Burlington Optometry, we take your eye health a step further with genetic testing that can help us better predict future vision risks with AMD and protect your sight.
Vita Risk can help us to determine if you may be predisposed for risk of progression of age-related macular degeneration to wet AMD by measuring genetic material that interacts with supplements containing zinc.
Macula Risk works by integrating genetic testing with a clinical diagnosis to predict if a patient may be at increased risk of progressing to advanced AMD, and eventual vision loss. Macula Risk provides a 2, 5, and 10-year prediction that your doctor can work with to help plan early treatments to help prevent vision loss.
Learn more about how Vita Risk and Macula Risk may help preserve your vision and book an appointment.
Helping Maintain Your Eye Health
Your eye health is important to us. When it comes to giving you the information you need to maintain long-term, healthy eyes, Burlington Optometry is here for you. Get in touch with us today to set up an appointment with an eye doctor and take control of your eye health.
Find us in the Burlington Heights Plaza at the corner of Upper Middle Road and Guelph Line. We’re located next to Once Upon a Child, across from McDonald’s. If you have trouble finding us, give us a call!