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Health Watch: Nutrition for Healthy Eyes

Published on 4 June 2012 in Health & Environment
Dr. Siva (author)

Dr. Siva


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We all know that if we intend to keep our body in good shape then we have to do some form of physical exercise regularly as well as be careful with what we eat. If we only eat junk food then our bodies, and our health, will seriously suffer. What we tend to forget is that this goes for our eyes as well.

Every aspect of the human body relies on certain nutrients to function properly and to maintain good health, and the eyes are no exception. Good nutrition begins with understanding the vitamins that keep our eyes healthy. Vitamins A, C and E are the primary contributors for healthy eyes. All three assist the the prevention of macular degeneration. Vitamin A prevents night blindness, while Vitamin C acts as the protector of eye health and Vitamin E has been associated with the prevention of cataracts and the delaying of cataract growth. The good news is that all of these wonderful vitamins can be found in food. The following are good sources of healthy vitamins for the eyes:

Carrots: Carrots contain a carotenoid called beta-carotene. Your body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants such as Vitamin A are essential to eye health.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A which is essential for healthy eyes.

Fish: Salmon, cod and mackerals (bhaga) contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Spinach (sabanah): It is real eye-protecting stuff. It has a rich source of Vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All these ingredients are very good for healthy eyes and eyesight.

Broccoli: Broccoli is rich in Vitamin C, which is an important antioxidant for the treatment of cataract and macular degeneration.

Almonds: They contain Vitamin E, which helps slow the progress of age-related eye disease and helps prevent cataracts.

Yogurt: It contains zinc, which helps the body absorb antioxidants such as Vitamin A.

Eggs: They contain Vitamin A, which helps the retina to function properly and lessens the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Garlic & Onions: They are rich in sulphur, which is necessary for the production of glutathione, an important antioxidant for the lens of the eye.

Raspberries, Blueberries  and Grapes: They contain Vitamin C, which reduces the risk of cataract formation.

Flaxseed oil: It contains Omega-3 fatty acids which are of high importance for healthy vision.

So if you are concerned about maintaining good eye health, think orange and green. By simply adding some color to your diet, you can greatly enhance your sight.

Eye care tips for computer users

The computer age has given us many wonderful things such as online ticketing, information on demand, entertainment as you wish, etc. But, with the dramatic increase in home and office computer use, complaints of eye fatigue and discomfort have also become common.

The interesting thing to point out is that research has established that computer monitors emit little or no hazardous radiation, such as x-ray or ultraviolet rays. So, the fatigue is not directly caused by the exposure to the computer screen but rather by the environment surrounding the computer screen, such as poor illumination or improper positioning of computer equipment and computer furniture. Excessive strain on eyes—Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)—can lead to itchy or burning eyes, blurred or double vision and headaches. All of these symptoms can lead to frustration, increased irritation and an inability to complete work as efficiently as one might without proper eye care.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to protect your eyes from the strain and fatigue. Here are a few suggestions:

Keep the monitor at a distance of 20 to 30 inches, or about an arm’s length, from your eyes.

Place the monitor in such a way that the top of the monitor is at a level slightly below the horizontal eye level.

Tilt the top of the monitor away from you at a 10- to 20-degree angle to create an optimum viewing angle.

Change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. You can also use glare filters over your computer screen. A good test is to turn off the monitor and see what is reflected in the screen. Adjust the angle or position of the monitor to have no competing light or reflections.

The background wall or structure behind the monitor should not be too loud or shiny as it will distract you and cause more strain trying to focus on the screen.

Adjust the brightness to have a good contrast between letters and background. Replace the monitor if you notice any flickering.

Keep the monitor screen clean from dust and finger prints.

Preferance an LCD over a CRT monitor as LCD screens are easier on the eyes and usually have an anti-reflective surface.

If you spend long hours entering data or reading long documents, try using a larger monitor so you can see the print on your computer screen better. You can also try increasing the font size to reduce eye strain.

Use a proper adjustable chair to fine tune your eye level with the screen.

Visit your ophthalmologist every year, especially if you are more than forty years old.


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