Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility How Your Diet Affects Eye Health
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Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune
(Deemed to be University)
Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Optometry & Visual Sciences
Pimpri, Pune-411 018 (Maharashtra) India.

How Your Diet Affects Eye Health

How Your Diet Affects Eye Health

Discover the impact of your diet on eye health & learn how to protect your vision with right foods. Explore connection between nutrition & your eyes.

Mrs. Susmita Banerjee
September, 21 2023
993

We are all aware of 'You Are What You Eat.' But you might not realize how true that is! As an example, let's look at how your diet can negatively affect your eye health and ways to improve both.

A diet of mostly processed high-fat foods can lead to eye problems. A diet with lots of added sugar and simple carbs can also affect your vision. Be mindful of how many sodas, diet sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and juices you consume each week.

All the extra sugar can lead to an increased risk of eye conditions such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. Too much sodium can lead to at least three different eye conditions.

Simple carbs include white bread and pastas. Our bodies digest these types of carbs quickly, causing blood sugar to spike. This process is directly related to a higher risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

Too much sodium can lead to at least three different eye conditions.

This includes foods like deli meats, hot dogs, certain frozen meals, salad dressings, and sauces, to name a few.

However, high sodium can lead to Hypertensive Retinopathy. Damaged blood vessels can then cause blurred vision and loss of vision. Moreover, too much sodium can lead to a buildup of fluid beneath the retina. This is known as Choroidopathy.

Therefore, there is an increased risk of Neuropathy. To clarify, blood flow is blocked, killing nerves, which causes vision loss.

We've looked at how your diet can negatively affect your eye health. Now, let's look at ways your diet can help with eye health.

For starters, choose more whole foods rich in nutrients and vitamins. By nutrients and vitamins, we mean Beta-Carotene, Vitamins A and

C, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Zinc.

This includes foods like Citrus Foods, Leafy Greens, Oily Fish, Whole Grains, and other Fruits and Vegetables. Plus, drink more water!

Finally, remember eye health is directly connected to heart health and blood vessels. Therefore, what you drink and eat can have a long-term effect on your eye health and vision. That means both positively and negatively.

Eye Health

If you are experiencing a sudden change in your vision, you may be confused about what's causing it. While there are many factors and potential causes at play, you should not discard your diet as a possible culprit. In fact, the food you eat (or don't eat) may be causing your blurry vision.

If you're on a diet that restricts your calories or food too much, you may be affecting your glucose, which then affects your vision. “Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain. When blood sugar drops too low, the brain isn't getting steady energy and therefore cannot function as normal and may lead to an impairment in vision,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCDS, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist in Sparta, New Jersey. Fortunately, this change is only temporary. However, low blood sugar isn't the only cause of blurred vision. “Dehydration can trigger eye strain, which in turn can lead to tired eyes and blurry vision,” says Palinski-Wade. “Since the brain is made up mostly of water, dehydration can also impair mental function, which in turn can impair vision in a similar way low blood sugar can. This is temporary and restores once hydration is back to a normal level.”

Make sure that you stay hydrated – especially if you're on a diet. The American Optometry Association recommends drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day to avoid dehydration and dry eyes.

The Keto diet is a popular weight-loss plan, but its lack of carbohydrates can affect your glucose and, in turn, your vision. “A Keto Diet provides very few carbohydrates, the macronutrient easiest to convert into glucose in the body,” explains Palinski-Wade. “When you eat few carbs, your blood sugar can lower as well.

Healthy Food for Eyes

Nutrients for Eye Health

Benefits

Lutein

Protects eyes from sunlight damage.

Zeaxanthin

Improves contrast sensitivity, light sensitivity, and glare recovery.

Vitamin A

Important for color vision and low-light vision.

Vitamin C

Has antioxidant properties, boosts collagen production to support eye structure.

Vitamin E

Reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Zinc

Protects against cataracts, poor night vision, night blindness, and optic nerve damage.

Fatty Acids

Protect against dry eyes and lower the risk of glaucoma.

B12

With the help of B12, improve eye health by preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

 

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