How to care for your vision – Part 1

Quit smoking for good if you want to take care of your vision.

(Photo: OMGFacts) Quit smoking for good if you want to take care of your vision.

Take good care of your precious vision with these seven simple lifestyle steps. Looking after your vision becomes even more vital after 50, when you’re more likely to experience issues with your eyes. “Your eyes are one of the most important organs in your body, so protection is paramount,” says Nathan Fisher from Maui Jim Sunglasses.
Fortunately, research suggests making a few simple lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your risk of eye diseases such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma (a pressure build-up in the eye). What’s more, these adjustments can often slow the progress of these diseases if you already have them.

Take care of your vision by watching your weight

Watch your weight If your body mass index (BMI) is more than 35, you’re 80 times more likely to develop diabetes which, in turn, can lead to diabetic retinopathy. This is a complication of diabetes that harms the retina and can lead to blindness. Overweight people are also twice as likely to develop cataracts and they may be more at risk of developing Dry AMD (the kind that develops slowly), too. And try to clock up your 30 minutes a day of regular exercise; research shows it can protect your eyesight, particularly after 60. Narrowing and hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and diabetes all have the potential to cause permanent eye damage. Regular exercise will help prevent all three problems.

Quit smoking for good


Quit smoking for good if you want to take care of your vision. Most of us are aware of the link between smoking, heart disease and cancer. But did you know that smokers are more likely to develop cataracts (cloudy patches in the lens)? Smokers are also 10 times more likely to develop AMD, in which the macula, a small, light-sensitive patch at the back of the eye, becomes badly damaged. “The eyes are full of blood vessels, and the toxins in tobacco reduce blood flow in them,” says optometrist Francesca Marchetti.

Slow down with the use of alcohol


Drinking too much alcohol is now associated with a higher risk of AMD. Try switching to sparkling apple juice for toasts and blending up fruit mocktails for your next girls’ night. Consider a supplement If you have a family history of AMD or are displaying early signs of the disease, many eye doctors and opticians recommend supplements specially formulated for eye health. You can also boost your intake of these nutrients by eating eggs, as well as lots of fruit and vegetables – plant foods have the added benefit of being high in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, which studies show can improve eye health.

“Eating a diet that’s rich in leafy vegetables and nuts can be very important to take care of your vision,” Nathan says.

Also read: What doctors do to prevent cancer

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