According to leading eye experts — like the oculoplastic surgeon team at Los Angeles area Eyesthetica and the American Academy of Ophthalmology — the choices you make about your diet and lifestyle affect the health and wellness of your eyes. Eating healthy and exercising regularly are two of the best ways to promote healthy eyes and clear vision. Read on for more information about how to protect your eyes from disease and damage.
Eating for Healthy Eyes
Your eyes need good nutrition to function properly. It is important to incorporate the following vitamins and antioxidants into your daily diet:
- Vitamin C – found in many fruits and vegetables, including citrus and leafy greens. Research shows that vitamin C can slow the progression of eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration and reduce the risk of cataracts.
- Vitamin E – found in nuts, sweet potatoes and certain fortified cereals. This vitamin can protect cells within the eye from free radicals that attack healthy tissue.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin – found in leafy green vegetables, eggs, corn and supplement form. These carotenoids lower the risk of developing chronic eye diseases, including cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Zinc – found in red meat, seafood, eggs and tofu. It helps with the production of melanin (a protective pigment in the eyes) and may benefit those at high risk of macular degeneration.
Exercising for Healthy Eyes
When you exercise, your eyes receive the benefits that the rest of your body does. Not only can regular physical activity stave off eye diseases such as glaucoma (by lowering intraocular pressure), it can also help manage the effects of existing disease, such as diabetes, which can lead to diabetic retinopathy. Exercise does not have to be overly strenuous — even a brisk walk or dancing qualifies as a suitable “eye-healthy” workout.
Other Things You Can Do For Your Eye Health
- Quit smoking
- Wear sunglasses outdoors
- See an eye doctor regularly for eye exams
- Stay in control of existing health conditions like diabetes and blood pressure or cholesterol problems
- Protect your eyes from sports-related and household hazards (i.e., anything with projectile objects that could injure your eyes)