Healthy-eyes are our windows to creation. Quality of life at any age is dependent on healthy-eyes. I think that you would agree that our sight is a vital and precious sense and that it is essential to protect and nourish our eyes. Two of the greatest threats to our vision as we age are macular degeneration and cataracts.
About 30 percent of people over sixty-five years of age request medical intervention for various degrees of age related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the deterioration of light sensitive cells in the macula, which causes a loss of central vision and can eventually lead to complete blindness. The macula is a small spot in the middle of the retina that provides the greatest visual acuity and color perception.
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. Common symptoms of a cataract include blurring of vision, poor night vision, light sensitivity and double vision. Cataracts are not caused by a film over the eye as commonly thought. Cataracts can be corrected by replacing the lens in your eye(s). The procedure to replace the lens sometimes causes eye floaters.
Sunlight can damage the lens, cause cataracts, and damage the retina. Protecting our healthy-eyes from the damaging effect of sunlight is important at any age but becomes even more so as we age. Select sunglasses with lenses designed to provide UV blockers rated by the American National Standards Institute. Polarized sunglasses have an added protective layer that helps block the glare of light off snow and water.
Oxidative stress is thought to play a major role in the development of AMD. Oxidative stress is the result of free-radical action. The free-radical theory of aging suggests that our cells accumulate free radical damage over time. Diet and nutrition are essential counter measures to free radicals. While the literature suggests that there is no cure or treatment for age-related macular degeneration, the carotenoid, lutein, and other nutrients may help prevent AMD.
Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that can damage the eye's optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. It is one of themain causes of blindness in the United States. However, with early detection and treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.
Diabetic retinopathy is another serious condition that can threaten your precious sight. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the retina. The retina is the nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and helps to send images to the brain. The damage is referred to as diabetic retinopathy. Persons with diabetes should schedule eye exams a minimum of once per year.
Our eye health is significantly affected by what we eat. Foods rich in lutein include: green leafy vegetables, kale, broccoli, and spinach. Blue berries strengthen the retina and Omega 3 DHA repairs free-radical damage to the retinal cells and improves circulation in the eye. Basically the same foods and nutrients that are good for our brain and heart are good for our eyes.
Remember to consult with your physician before starting any nutritional supplementation program. Nutritional supplements do not cure or prevent illness and disease. They only give the body the extra nutrition it needs to take care of itself! A healthy lifestyle starts with good nutrition.
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In the end it's not the years in your life that count but the life in your years. Abraham Lincoln