10 ways to keep your eyes healthy
by: Joanna Kiernan
Our reporter asked Dr David Keegan, consultant ophthalmologist at the Mater Hospital, what we can do to reduce and even halt the effects of many serious sight complaints
1 HAVE YOUR EYES TESTED REGULARLY
Having regular eye tests (recommended every two years) will identify early indications of diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, which are treatable when caught early. An eye test can also identify other health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
“Don’t ignore poor vision or just put it down to old age,” says Dr Keegan. “Have it seen to by an eye doctor or another eye-care professional. A lot of people ignore poor vision even though much of what causes it is preventable. So have regular eye check-ups to keep on top of things.”
2 EAT WELL
Maintaining a healthy weight and eating well can have enormous benefits for your eyes.
Some foods can even help to protect against certain eye conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration due to the specific nutrients they contain called lutein or zeaxanthin, which are found in many fruits and vegetables, including mango, broccoli, green beans and spinach.
“Having a diet rich in anti-oxidants, in fruit and vegetables and low in fats, particularly saturated fats, will prevent against macular degeneration, cataract and diabetic retinopathy – three of the main causes of vision impairment worldwide,” says Dr Keegan.
3 DON’T SMOKE
It is well documented that smoking is bad for your general health, but it can also cause direct damage to your sight by lessening the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream available to your eyes. The results of this ‘oxidative stress’ can lead to retina damage and even cell death in the area.
Smoking is also a risk factor in the development of age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. However, in many cases, one can stop or even reverse damage to the eyes – depending on the severity of the condition – by quitting….
Source: Life Health and Wellbeing