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How to Maintain Good Eye Health


INTRODUCTION

Maintaining good eye health is essential for every individual. Clear vision is essential for daily activities such as reading, driving, and appreciating the beauty around us. Regular eye check-ups are crucial for ensuring clear vision and detecting early signs of conditions such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, thereby preventing permanent vision loss or blindness. Proper nutrition, protective measures, and regular check-ups contribute to a higher quality of life while also protecting against potential vision problems in the future. Unfortunately, some individuals may overlook eye health while prioritising other aspects of their health.


Eye diseases may not have obvious symptoms, emphasising the importance of nutritional intervention in slowing or stopping their progression. The eyes are especially vulnerable to oxidative damage as a result of light exposure and high metabolism. Antioxidant nutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds are essential for maintaining eye health. According to a recent survey conducted by the Ocular Nutrition Society, 70% of individuals aged 45 to 65 consider vision the most important sense. However, more than half of those polled were unaware of the importance of specific nutrients in maintaining eye health. This article discusses the nutrients required for good eye health and the prevention of eye diseases. 


VITAMINS AND MINERALS

  • Carotenoids (Lutein and Zeaxanthin)

    • Lutein and zeaxanthin are essential components for maintaining eye health and can be found in the yellow spot of the retina. They protect the macula from blue light damage, improve visual acuity, and lower the likelihood of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin include broccoli, corn, kale, spinach, green peas, and parsley. 

  • Vitamin C

    • Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin known for its antioxidant that safeguards proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids from free radicals. It is essential for maintaining low oxygen levels in the eye, implying that it may help to reduce oxidative stress and prevent cataracts. Foods rich in vitamin C include blueberries, strawberries, oranges, kiwi, lemons, grapefruits, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. 

  • Vitamin E

    • Vitamin E is the primary lipid-soluble antioxidant and helps protect cells in the eyes from free radicals, lowering the risk of cataracts. Vitamin E-rich foods encompass corn, safflower, soybean, wheat germ, almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds. 

  • Zinc

    • Zinc acts as a cofactor for enzymes in the eye, supporting immunity, reproduction, and neuronal development. It scavenges superoxide radicals and protects ocular tissues. Zinc deficiency has been linked to impaired vision, including night vision and cloudy cataracts. Zinc-rich foods comprise red meat, oysters and other shellfish, multigrain cereals, milk, as well as nuts and seeds. 


To summarise, prioritising good eyesight is critical for leading a vibrant and fulfilling life. Clear vision not only improves daily life but also protects against the silent threats of eye diseases. Individuals who practice proper eye care, including regular check-ups and nutritional interventions, can ensure a brighter, healthier future. 


@IGLOW SDN BHD


References

Abdel-Aal, E.-S., Akhtar, H., Zaheer, K., & Ali, R. (2013). Dietary Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Carotenoids and Their Role in Eye Health. Nutrients, 5(4), 1169–1185. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu5041169



AOA. (n.d.-b). Vitamin A beneficial for eyes, just not for preventing myopia. Www.aoa.org. https://www.aoa.org/news/clinical-eye-care/health-and-wellness/vitamin-a-good-for-the-eyes?sso=y


CDC. (2020, October 1). Keep an Eye on Your Vision Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/resources/features/keep-eye-on-vision-health.html#:~:text=Vision%20Care%20Can%20Change%20Lives


Harvard School of Public Health. (2023, March). Vitamin C. The Nutrition Source; Harvard. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-c/


Johnson, & Rasmussen, H. (2013). Nutrients for the aging eye. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 741. https://doi.org/10.2147/cia.s45399


Johra, F. T., Bepari, A. K., Bristy, A. T., & Reza, H. M. (2020). A Mechanistic Review of β-Carotene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin in Eye Health and Disease. Antioxidants, 9(11), 1046. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9111046


Khoo, H., Ng, H., Yap, W.-S., Goh, H., & Yim, H. (2019). Nutrients for Prevention of Macular Degeneration and Eye-Related Diseases. Antioxidants, 8(4), 85. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8040085


Lim, J. C., Caballero Arredondo, M., Braakhuis, A. J., & Donaldson, P. J. (2020). Vitamin C and the Lens: New Insights into Delaying the Onset of Cataract. Nutrients, 12(10), 3142. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103142


Rizvi, S., Raza, S. T., Ahmed, F., Ahmad, A., Abbas, S., & Mahdi, F. (2014). The role of vitamin e in human health and some diseases. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 14(2), e157-65.





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