How Eating Healthy Affects Your Eyes

The foods and vitamins you consume affect your body’s overall health, including your eyes. With a healthy diet and lifestyle, the likelihood of developing some eye diseases and health disorders dramatically decreases. With a few simple steps, your body will thank you later!

Eating Healthy Foods

One of the best things you can do is choose foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins. An easy trick to remember is dark green or brightly colored fruits and vegetables are the go-to foods. Not only will they impact your overall health, but they will help to reduce the chances of developing eye diseases such as dry eyes and cataracts. 

Another trick is to look for different versions of your favorite snacks. Instead of foods that are high in sugar or made from white flour, look for sugar-free foods and whole-grain alternatives. Healthy fats such as salmon and nuts are high in omega-3, which helps with your eye health.

Hydration

Water is one of the best drinks that you can choose, so drink plenty of it! Stay away from sugary drinks because proper hydration helps to reduce dry eye symptoms. 

Nutrients

Nutrients are essential to your overall health. If you find yourself not getting the amounts needed daily, look into taking supplements to ensure you receive the proper amount. The following nutrients can help reduce your risk for many eye related issues!

  • Vitamin A: night blindness and dry eyes
  • Omega-3: macular degeneration and dry eyes
  • Vitamin C: cataracts and macular degeneration
  • Vitamin D: macular degeneration
  • Zinc: night blindness
  • Vitamin E: advanced macular degeneration

Aging Eyes

Your eyes will change as you age, so it’s essential to take all factors into consideration on how to keep your eyes healthy. One of the most important things is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. By wearing sunglasses with built-in UV protection, you can help prevent your eyes from developing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Eating lean beef in moderation can also boost your eye health. Beef contains zinc, which helps your body absorb vitamins and may play a role in reducing the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration.

Another habit you should start is leaving the cigarettes behind. Not only is smoking harmful to your overall health, but it increases the chances of developing eye diseases.

Finally, one of the easiest things you can do is schedule an annual eye exam to detect any eye diseases as early as possible. Many eye conditions start without symptoms, so it’s crucial to have a professional take a look. Call us today to learn more!

Dry Eye: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

What Is Dry Eye?

A continued lack of lubrication and moisture within the eye causes symptoms categorized as dry eye syndrome. The lack of tears and moisture to keep the surface of the eye lubricated, as well as wash away debris and dust, can cause eye discomfort and affect your vision.

Symptoms 

  • Burning 
  • Itchy 
  • Aching 
  • Heavy 
  • Fatigued 
  • Sore 
  • Dryness 
  • Red eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision

Causes

Symptoms like dry, itchy eyes occur when there is an issue with a component of your tears. The three components that make up your tears are oil, water, and mucin. Issues with these components like tear instability, tear film evaporation, or insufficient tear production, can be the cause of your symptoms. To help detect the cause of your dry eyes, schedule an exam today! 

There are certain factors that can increase your risk for symptoms. These factors include:

  • Screen use: Humans blink less often when working on screens like computers or phones, causing a higher level of tear evaporation.
  • Smoking: Smoking can cause your eyes to dry over time and puts you at a higher risk for other eye-related diseases. 
  • Aging: The natural aging of your eye can cause your eyes to become dryer and is common in individuals over 50. 
  • Health conditions & Medications: Certain diseases and medicines can lead to the development of dry eyes. 

Dry Eye Treatment 

The only way to fully diagnose chronic dry eye syndrome and determine its cause is through a comprehensive eye exam. If you are showing symptoms, schedule an appointment with our office! During your appointment, we will review your symptoms and discuss treatment options for relief!  

Treatment options may include:

  • Adding of tears through lubricating eye drops.
  • Increasing the time your tears stay in your eye by blocking your tear ducts. 
  • Determining and removing the reason for your symptoms if caused by a medication or environmental reason. 
  • Introduction of practices to reduce symptoms and prevent further symptoms like remembering to blink during long screen use. 

 

Cataracts: Cause, Symptoms, and Treatment

Cataracts affect about 24 million Americans and are the leading cause of blindness in the world.* Cataracts are a natural part of aging but should be addressed as they start to affect your vision. If you are over the age of 40, we recommend scheduling a yearly comprehensive eye exam to detect cataracts as they develop. Want to learn more about the cause, symptoms, and treatment of cataracts? Read below!

What causes cataracts?

Cataracts are the clumping together of proteins within the lens of your eye, causing cloudiness in your vision. While health issues like diabetes, obesity, smoking, ultraviolet radiation, and family history can influence your development of cataracts, your eyes and body’s natural aging also leads to cataracts. As you age, cataracts may begin to develop and get larger or more severe over time naturally.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from person to person. If you start to experience any of the following symptoms associated with cataracts, schedule an appointment with our office.

  • Slight blur in vision
  • Dim or cloudy vision
  • Light sensitivity (sunlight or lamps seem too bright)
  • Colors appear faded
  • Reduced night vision quality

Types of cataracts

Subcapsular

Subcapsular cataracts, most commonly found in individuals with diabetes, typically occur in the back of the lens. Because of where it develops, you may notice symptoms of degraded night vision or difficulty reading first.

Nuclear

Nuclear cataracts are the most common and are associated with aging and occur in the central zone of the lens.

Cortical

Cortical cataracts are the opposite of Nuclear cataracts and begin in the outer part of the lens, interfering with light passage through the eye.

Are cataracts preventable?

Lower your risk of developing cataracts by maintaining your body and eye health.

  • Schedule a yearly comprehensive eye exam! 
  • Stop smoking!  Smoking can increase your risk of cataracts.
  • Continuing treatment if you have diabetes or other medical conditions will help minimize your risk.
  • Prevent ultraviolet radiation by wearing 100% UV blocking sunglasses.

Treating cataracts

If you are experiencing symptoms listed above or are concerned you may be developing cataracts, call our office to schedule an appointment. During your appointment, we will examine your eyes and provide the best recommendation to manage your cataracts or recommend surgery if needed. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a clear lens to improve your vision.

Have more specific questions about cataracts, your risk, or treatment options? Call our office to schedule an appointment and let us know you would like to learn more about cataracts!

*National Eye Institute (https://nei.nih.gov)

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