Since we were children, we’ve been taught to eat our vegetables at every meal to keep us healthy, but did you know what you eat can also help protect your eyesight and eye health too? Green, leafy and brightly colored vegetables are packed with carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin that help protect against eye-related diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.
What is the macula?
The macula is located in the back of the eye and is part of the retina. The macula is about 5mm and has high concentrations of photoreceptor cells that detect light and send signals to the brain. It is obvious that the macula is tiny, but a mighty part of our eyes!
What is macular degeneration?
There are two types of macular degeneration; dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration is the most common. Dry macular degeneration is when the macula becomes thinner overtime. Wet macular degeneration is when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. Both cause loss of vision, but wet macular degeneration is much more serious.
What are cataracts?
Cataracts are when the lens in our eyes become clouded or foggy with age. The protein in our eyes start to break down around the age of 40, but can be unnoticed until a few years later. Blurry vision, bothersome night vision, and double vision are some of the symptoms of cataracts.
Here are foods that are rich with lutein and zeaxanthin:
- Collard greens
- Turnip greens
- Brussels Sprouts
Have a hard time eating your vegetables?
We have a supplement in our office that is rich in these carotenoids! Vision Essence is recommended by both Dr. Golson and Dr. Bryant. This bottle contains 90 capsules with 10 mg of lutein, 2mg of zeaxanthin, and 10mg of meso-zeaxanthin.The capsules do not contain any gelatin product, so this product is vegan friendly!
How do I protect against macular degeneration and cataracts?
Along with fueling your body with the right nutrition and scheduling yearly eye health exams, protection is the key to prevention! Wearing sunglasses everyday can protect from the toxic rays from the sun and damaging HEV light! All of our Optical Experts can assist in finding the sunglasses that are right for you!