The Relationship Between Nutrition and Eye Health

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Woman Slicing Gourd

Of all the five senses, eyesight is probably the most vital. It functions for jobs, tasks, and daily activities. Therefore, it is paramount that we provide proper care and delay age-related conditions that can impact vision. Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals go hand in hand in maintaining optimal eye health. The consumption of these nutrients assists in eye function maintenance and protection from potential risks of degenerative diseases from aging. In addition, good nutrition is closely linked to excellent vision health. Thus, they are synonymous with each other. 

An overview of common eye diseases

Macular degeneration

The macula is at the center of the retina. Macular degeneration brought about by aging is one of the causes of poor vision and blindness. Green leafy vegetable nitrates reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Dry eye disease

Dry eye disease marks insufficient tear production that leads to eye dryness, ocular discomfort, and burning and stinging sensation. Seek an ophthalmology professional for dry eye treatment soon rather than later. Chronic dry eye leads to inflammation that has serious repercussions.

Cataracts

Cataracts lead to cloudy vision and can develop to vision impairment through the aging process.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma causes poor eyesight and blindness due to the degeneration of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is vital for sending visual messages from the eye to the brain.

Diabetic retinopathy

Retinopathy develops when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy causes visual impairment and sight loss.

These common eye conditions depend on age and genetics, but diet and lifestyle play an important role. Here are the nutrients that are beneficial to good eye health.

Zinc

The human eye contains high levels of zinc. Zinc is an antioxidant that aids in the production of visual pigments in the retina. Natural dietary sources of zinc are beef, nuts, and seeds.

Vitamin A

The deficiency of Vitamin A leads to blindness. It is a nutrient essential in the maintenance of the eye’s photoreceptors. 

Night blindness, dry eyes, and blurred vision are common symptoms of the lack of Vitamin A consumption. Liver, egg, and dairy products are abundant sources of this essential vitamin.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Adequate amounts of long-chain fatty acids like DHA and EPA found in fish oils significantly reduce age-related retinal degeneration and severe cases of dry eyes.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant for the eyes. It protects the eyes from cataracts.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E and its fat-soluble property protect the eye from harmful fatty acid oxidation. The retina has high levels of fatty acids, and the adequate consumption of Vitamin E aids in optimal eye health. Almond, chia seeds, and vegetable oils are rich sources of Vitamin E.

Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA)

GLA is a fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. GLA is abundant in primrose oil.

Intake of these nutrients and vitamins helps reduce the risk of eye diseases that lead to vision impairment and loss. Conscious eye protection, a balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle are factors that should be in harmony to achieve optimal eye health. 

Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-slicing-gourd-1153369/ 

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