Dry macular degeneration
A condition where waste gathers at the back of your eye and affects your central vision.
There is no treatment, but the carotenoid lutein has been found highly effective in preventing dry macular degeneration. Find it in dark, leafy greens, such as spinach, collard greens and kale, as well as in okra, broccoli, papaya, oranges, mango, green beans, peaches, sweet potatoes, lima beans, pumpkin, red grapes and green capsicums.
Wet macular degeneration
This is a more severe condition than dry macular condition. New blood vessels grow at the back of the eye and leak blood into the retina, which can causes scarring and sometimes lead to irreversible blindness.
Wed macular degeneration can be treated with specialised prescription medicine if caught early. Zeaxanthin and lutein can also help prevent the condition. Dose up on sweet corn, pumpkin, oranges, mango, kale, apricots, peaches and orange capsicums.
Cataracts are when the lenses cloud over causing distorted or blurred vision. They are normally a result of ageing but can also be caused by trauma and disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, have been shown to slow the progression of age-related cataracts. If you’re not a fish eater, walnuts, flaxseeds, beans and olive oil are other good sources. Protecting your eyes from UV rays can also help stave off the condition.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, which leads to vision loss and blindness. It can start with build-up of pressure; however some types of glaucoma do not have any change in pressure at all.
While research has not singled out a food to help combat glaucoma, eating a diet rich in healthy-eye nutrients, such as vitamins A, E and C, as well as zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin, is recommended. Early treatment slows its progression, so see your optometrist.
Presbyopia is when the lens in your eye hardens and the muscles around it age, leaving you unable to focus on objects up close.
Presbyopia is part of the ageing process and can’t be prevented with a dose of vitamins. However, wearing the correct eyewear can help. The experts at OPSM suggest wearing protective eyewear for mowing the lawn, playing sports and painting with toxic fumes, being sun smart and having regular eye tests.