Diet & Exercise
A well-balanced diet is a key component in maintaining healthy weight and avoiding diabetes, the leading cause of blindness in adults. A diet that consists of mainly fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, nuts and seeds and avoids refined sugars, fried foods and highly processed foods will help control blood sugar, regulate blood pressure and in general promote good health. To maintain good vision, the eyes need certain vitamins and minerals such as zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fats.
Daily consumption of these foods will fuel your body with the nutrition it needs for optimal eye health:
- Dark, leafy green vegetables (kale, collards, spinach)
- Wild-caught salmon
- Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Beans (black beans, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, lentils)
- Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and improper drug use can have short-term and long-term negative consequences with regards to vision health. Some of the effects include:
- Weakened eye muscle coordination resulting in blurred vision
- Inability of the iris to quickly adapt to changes in lighting
- The perception of tunnel vision
- Decreased ability to perceive the difference between shades of gray or other colors that are similar
- Headaches accompanied by blind spots or dulled vision
Maintaining an active lifestyle or at a minimum a level of moderate activity three times a week may reduce risk of vision complications. Regular exercise is also proven to help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, two important factors in preventing diabetes and age-related vision complications. Whether you take a walk, ride a bike or go for a swim, find something you enjoy and can engage in regularly to experience lasting health benefits.