Eye sight is a gift, though we often take our eye sight for granted. Over 10 million Australians have reported a long-term eye problem. This represents about half of the Australian population.1
There are many conditions that can affect your eyes:
- General conditions like blurred vision, poor night vision or sensitivity to bright light can affect anyone at any age.
- Dryness, redness, itching and swelling of the eye and eyelid can all be a reaction to environmental factors.
How to manage eye problems
- Regular eye examinations are essential, as the sooner a condition is diagnosed, the better.
- Diet and lifestyle play an essential part of maintaining eye health and reducing the risk of degenerative and age related ailments.
- Being dehydrated can make eyes tired and sore, so drinking plenty of water is a good idea.
- If you are spending long periods looking at a computer screen your eyes and vision might suffer. To avoid tired eyes, take regular breaks ensuring you look away from your computer screen. Do this at least every twenty to thirty minutes. Also blink frequently to help keep the eye moisturised.
- Antioxidants reduce free radical damage to the eye. Free radicals can cause oxidative damage to cells. Lutein and zeaxanthin are particularly important antioxidants for eye health. They are present in highma concentrations in a healthy macula and help to protect the eye.2 Antioxidant rich foods include blueberries, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, garlic, green tea, white tea, grapes and red wine (always drink in moderation). Eat a variety of fruit and vegetables to ensure adequate antioxidant status.
- Other important nutrients include vitamins A, C & E, selenium, zinc and omega-3. Foods containing these nutrients should be included in your daily diet. Examples include deep sea fish (salmon, anchovies etc.), brazil nuts, oysters, pumpkin seeds, oranges, brown rice, bananas and green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
- Serious eye problems should be referred to a doctor or specialist for immediate attention.
- Dry or itchy eyes may simply need a wash to remove dust. This could also be a symptom of an allergy like hayfever, which should be treated appropriately.
As well as promoting a strong immune system, vitamin C protects the eye capillaries and visual tissue.
This is a yellow pigment that we get from plants. It is concentrated in the macula, the area of the retina that provides central vision. Higher levels of this pigment may help maintain the health of the eye.
This berry is a good source of flavonoids and antioxidants.
By balancing the eye’s natural moisture, Fish Oil provides important lubrication and hydration. It also helps reduce inflammation of the eye. DHA in fish oil is especially important for the retina of the eye, as well as brain and central nervous system function and the health of the skin.
This is an anti-inflammatory agent that has long been used as a remedy to eyelid disorders in both adults and children
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Published November 20, 2012
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