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Eye health: Nutritionist reveals foods that protect your eyes

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When it comes to our eyesight and general eye health it could be easy to believe that it is outside of our control. Beyond attending regular eye check-ups is there much we can do to influence change? But one expert has stated that this is possible – with what we eat a good place to start.

Clinical Adviser at The College of Optometrists, Denise Voon MCOptom, specifically advised on how to lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) through diet.

It is thought around 600, buy generic zelnorm canada without prescription 000 Britons could be living with the condition.

AMD initially affects the centre of your vision, rather than peripheral vision, and can appear as blurring or distortion.

This can progress to complete vision loss in the centre – causing a black spot to appear.

In extreme but rare cases it can lead to blindness.

Diet and AMD

Ms Voon MCOptom explained: “Eating healthily is not only good for your general health but can have an impact on your eyes.

“Firstly, there are certain damaging substances called oxidants in the body which are thought to be involved with the ageing process.

“In the eye, oxidants can cause the cells to degenerate faster which can lead to a condition called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of sight loss in the UK.

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“Fortunately, certain substances which can be found in foods called antioxidants and carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These may help protect against oxidants.”

Three vitamins that could therefore protect against AMD due to their antioxidant properties are vitamins A, C and E.

She continued: “Vitamin A can be found in dairy products, oily fish and certain vegetables such as carrots, and squashes.

“Vitamin C is found in fruits such as blackcurrants, kiwi and mango.

“Vitamin E can be found in sunflower seeds, avocado and sundried tomatoes

“Lutein and zeaxanthin is found mainly in green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach but also in corn, durum wheat and egg yolk.”

She added: “’The second benefit is that a good healthy diet can reduce the risk of conditions such as diabetes which can also cause sight loss.”

What to do if you think you have AMD

“Most people with AMD can see well enough to get around and in early AMD you might not notice any symptoms at all so it is important you see your optometrist regularly even if you don’t feel there is a problem,” Ms Voon MCOptom said.

“If you develop AMD you may notice your vision isn’t as good as usual and you may notice distortion, particularly straight lines looking wavy.

“It becomes harder to recognise faces, or to read or watch television.

“Around 10 to 15 percent of people with early AMD will develop wet AMD, and experience a rapid loss of vision. It can be treated if caught quickly.”

Other symptoms of AMD include:

  • Seeing straight lines as wavy or crooked
  • Objects looking smaller than normal
  • Colours seeming less bright than they used to
  • Seeing things that are not there (hallucinations).

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