It’s that time of the year when we all make plans to be a better version of ourselves. Often this involves changing eating habits or planning those long over due visits for our annual health exams. Let us start this year off by examining how eating healthy benefits your eyes and how getting yearly eye exams benefits your health.
Your eye is very complex. Unlike muscles which function best on protein and carbohydrates your eye requires antioxidant vitamins and fatty acids to function properly. Most of these nutrients can be found in deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains. Carrots are likely the first food you think of when it relates to healthy eyes. These are a good source of beta-carotene. Other sources include: broccoli, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots. Vitamin E can be found in most nuts, whole grains, and kiwi. Lutein can be found in kale, spinach, red pepper and okra. Essential fatty acids, like omega 3 can be found in kiwi, chia seeds, flax, most nuts, and fish.
Good nutrition ensures your retina properly processes visual information. Dysfunction in this process is a disease called Macular Degeneration. Macular Degeneration causes distortion and or loss of vision. This condition often has a hereditary component. So those of you who have a family member with the disease are more likely to acquire the disease as well. Yearly eye exams are the best way to screen for Macular Degeneration. Often there are structural changes in the retina that can be seen on dilated exams or with high resolution imaging of the eye before vision is compromised. Like all diseases early detection is best.
Yearly eye exams can also detect other illnesses. Diabetes, Heart Disease, and High Cholesterol are a few illnesses that are often noted on exams. Sometimes the first indication of these illnesses are seen through the eyes and always progression of these illness can be monitored through the eyes.
Healthy eyes equals a healthy you. Do right by yourself and try to be the best you that you can. New Year’s resolutions can be tough to stick to. Here is an easy one, schedule you and your families’ eye exams today. Here’s to a great 2020.
Dr. Cameron’s family eye care clinic is located in Montgomery, TX in the Waterpoint Shopping Center. See our ad for details.