Dr. Teri Hines from View Optometry and Dr. Annie Savage from Bay Wellness Centre here. To celebrate National Nutrition Month we have teamed up to create a series of blog posts regarding eye health throughout your lifespan! We created 3 articles that we’re going to post weekly in March about eye development and eye health. We’re really excited to be working together to provide well-rounded preventive care to our patients and our audiences. We’ll start by explaining how the eye works, then move throughout the stages of life regarding eye health. We’ve provided nutrition tips and preventive care at each stage! Welcome to part three - if you missed part one or two, head back to last weeks’ posts for information on how the eye works and eye health for babies, teenager, and adults.
Cataracts are a common condition that occur as you have more birthdays. They are the clouding and hardening of the lens inside your eye, which leads to decreased vision. All of the following will increase your risk for cataracts: diabetes, excessive exposure to sunlight, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, previous eye injuries, prolonged use of corticosteroids, and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
What to do to help prevent cataracts from developing:
Regular eye exams (annually) Quit smoking (Easier said than done, we know, but there’s no harm in trying!) Manage blood sugar and blood pressure Choose a healthy nutrient-dense diet Wear sunglasses Reduce alcohol intake - Goodbye 2nd glass of wine :(
Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve which can lead to blindness. Most commonly glaucoma is caused by an increase in eye pressure. There is no way for you to know if your eye pressure is high, so this is just another reason to visit your Optometrist regularly. Risk for glaucoma is increased with age, family history, medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, injuries to the eye, and use of corticosteroids.
To prevent glaucoma from developing:
Regular eye exams (annually) Quit smoking Manage blood sugar and blood pressure Choose a healthy nutrient-dense diet
Glaucoma is usually treated with eye drops or surgery to lower eye pressure. This will slow down the progression of the disease but will not repair what vision is already lost. This is why it is so important to have regular eye exams. Some other ways to help treat glaucoma is with nutrient IV’s to increase selenium and zinc levels quickly. You can also supplement antioxidants, vitamin C, carotenoids, and vitamin E.
Age-related macular degeneration is a common eye condition and leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60. It causes damage to the macula, the small spot in the back of the eye needed for sharp, central vision. A blurred centre of vision is a common first symptom, which can progressively get worse and cause loss of central vision. Age is the major risk factor for macular degeneration; smoking, increased UV exposure, and family history are also risk factors.
To prevent macular degeneration:
Avoid smoking Exercise regularly Maintain normal blood sugar and blood pressure Choose a healthy nutrient-dense diet Wear sunglasses
Age-related Macular Degeneration Studies have found that these ingredients can slow disease progression:
500mg Vitamin C 400 IU of Vitamin E 80mg Zinc oxide 2mg copper as cupric oxide 10mg lutein and 2mg zeanthin
This formulation can be found at most pharmacies. Look for the AREDS 2 formula in the eye vitamins section. Please speak with your eyecare professional to see if this vitamin would be good for you. There are other formulations for people who have a risk factors for macular degeneration but do not have to disease.
We hope you enjoyed reading about eye health throughout life. We would love to hear from you if you have been able to implement any of our tips or food recommendations into your life. If you would like to speak more to Dr. Teri Hines from View Optometry or Dr. Annie Savage from Bay Wellness center, please book an appointment with their offices. We look forward to hearing from you.