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5 Proven Tips To Improve Eye Health and Prevent Eye Disease

5 Proven Tips To Improve Eye Health and Prevent Eye Disease

Today I’m going to share with you a few eye health tips that are proven in the scientific literature to actually provide benefits for eye health and help prevent future eye disease

1. Cut Back on the Cholesterol

To keep your eyes healthy, you should watch your cholesterol levels and decrease your saturated fat intake. It’s not really big medical news that having a high level of cholesterol and saturated fat in the diet isn’t good for you, but it’s certainly not good for the eyes either. There are studies that suggest that having elevated amounts of cholesterol and eating high amounts of saturated fats actually contribute to the development of age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration. Also, having higher amounts of these levels in your bloodstream can contribute to other diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure – both of which actually contribute to different retinal diseases within the eye.

Not only that, high fat and cholesterol can lead to other diseases, like diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness, and hypertensive retinopathy, which is from high blood pressure that can harm the eye. You can also develop actual cholesterol plaques that get released from cholesterol getting stuck in your arteries, which can actually get all the way up to the eye and cause a stroke within the eye (referred to as a Hollenhorst plaque). This all means that decreasing the amount of foods in your diet that have elevated amounts of bad fats, such as fast food or processed meats (including high-fat dairy products such as milk, butter, and cheese) could not just be beneficial for your whole body and heart health, but also for the eyes. This risk is actually compounded again by having a decreased body mass index, so getting out exercising and watching you eat is associated with less eye health issues.

2. Get More Omega-3 Fatty Acids

While tip number 1 is to decrease the bad fats in your diet, tip two is to increase the good fats in your diet – namely omega-3 fatty acids. In case you haven’t heard, omega-3 fatty acids are considered the good fats that we find in some natural food sources, such as oily fish like salmon, as well as from some vegetable sources, including nuts and seeds. There’s even an algae-based supplement that I’ve found that can actually be taken as an alternative to fish oil capsules.

Now there’s a whole lot of omega-3 debates about how omega-3 fish oils could help with heart health, or joint health, or even neurological brain health. There are a lot of documented studies that support the notion that omega-3 fatty acids can help with dry eye symptoms, as well as preventing retinal disease. What’s really interesting is that research studies have consistently shown that people who eat a diet with higher amounts of omega-3s  have a decreased risk of developing age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, as well as diabetes. In fact, a recent study found that people with diabetes who had higher amounts of omega-3s higher in their diet had a reduced risk for diabetic retinopathy, and it was less severe in those people who did develop it it.

That’s some amazing support for having omega-3s in your diet. And even if you’re not diabetic, there is a lot of evidence supporting that omega-3s are good for your eyes and your whole body, as well.

3. Eat More Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Tip number three is to eat more foods with high levels of antioxidants in them –  that is namely fruits and vegetables. The high levels of powerful antioxidants that are found in foods like fruits and vegetables often contain high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, zeaxanthin, as well as a very powerful eye nutrient called lutein. These have all been found to be very beneficial for the processes inside the eye, to keep the eye healthy and prevent eye disease. Since we are constantly looking at everything around our world, the light is actually entering the eye and causing the photoreceptors within the retina to constantly regenerate, and that requires a very high amount of metabolism. A faster working metabolism causes more amounts of reactive oxygen species which antioxidants basically negate. In fact, with some eye diseases like macular degeneration, it’s standard care for eye doctors to prescribe vitamins because it helps those diseases so much. So yes, just as you’ve probably heard throughout your entire life, eat your fruits and veggies!

4. Eye Supplements

Tip number four is to consider taking some sort of eye vitamin supplement. If you’re somebody who doesn’t like eating fruits and vegetables and you can’t really stomach eating oily fish like salmon, then perhaps taking some sort of supplement is the best option for you. There’s many different vitamins you can find in the market, and if you go to the store you’ll probably be overwhelmed by the amount of options that you have for eye vitamins, in general. You’ll probably see ones with the words “AREDS” written on the side, which stands for the age-related eye disease study, which are all large scale studies that basically found benefits when using a vitamin supplementation for diseases like age related macular degeneration. If you’re somebody who’s never been diagnosed with a disease like that, you probably won’t have much benefit from taking that specific formulation, but there are different vitamins out there to supplement for your eye health.

By taking these vitamins you help prevent aging eye disease, mainly by preventing damage from high-energy light that we get from the Sun and digital devices. I personally still think it’s best to try and eat healthy foods and get all of your nutrients naturally instead of supplements, but I still think it’s a good option for those who maybe are concerned, or have higher risk for retinal or eye disease. I also want mention that if you’re considering taking some sort of vitamin supplement, be sure you talk to a medical professional in your area to make certain that it is right for you.

5. Stop Smoking

The fifth tip for improving eye health and preventing eye disease is something that I know a lot of people are not going to like to read, and that is to quit smoking. This is because cigarette smoking, and tobacco use in general, is associated with higher risk factors of developing eye diseases such as macular degeneration – again, a blinding eye disease that people get in their 50s and beyond. It can also cause the development for things like dry eyes, uveitis (a bad inflammation inside the eye), as well as a condition called thyroid eye disease. So if you have any sort of thyroid problems for yourself, or in your family, smoking very greatly exaggerates those problems.

However, the reality is that it’s really no big news that smoking can cause a lot of problems in your entire body. I mean, it’s written on a warning right on the side of the box. That said, I do know that quitting smoking is one of the hardest things you can do, and I do encourage you to reach out to a medical professional in your area in case you can get medication from them, or counseling services that they could recommend so that they can help you quit.

So which one of these tips was your favorite, or do you have any other eye health tips of your own? Go ahead and comment in the section below and let me know what you’re thinking.