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Eye diseases

Eye diseases related to malnutrition include:

    1. Nyctalopia
    People affected by nyctalopia, or night blindness, find it difficult to see at nighttime. It may be caused by a deficiency of Vitamin A.

    2. Cataract
    As cells in the crystalline lens age, clouding develops and impairs vision. Symptoms include blurring of vision, loss of visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. Cataract does not cause noticeable physical pain but does lead to gradual loss of vision.

    3. Macular degeneration
    Malnutrition increases risk of developing macular degeneration. Symptoms include blurring of vision, development of blind spots and difficulty of seeing color. Macular degeneration may progress and result in vision loss. Studies have shown that sufficient intakes of Lutein and Zeaxanthin may help prevent macular degeneration. 

    4. Floaters
    Floaters are small, translucent shapes that suspend in field of vision. A severe condition of floaters may indicate retinal separation, and immediate treatment is recommended.

    5. Xerophthalmia
    Xerophthalmia is the medical condition in which the eye fails to produce tears. It is caused by a deficiency in Vitamin A. It may lead to corneal ulceration and ultimately to blindness.

Nutrients vital to the health of eyes:

Studies show that improving one’s diet can prevent eye diseases. Foods rich in antioxidants, like Carotene, Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc and Selenium, can prevent vision degeneration.

    1. Carotene- the human body processes Carotene into Vitamin A, which helps prevent night blindness and cataracts. It can also protect the retina from harmful ultraviolet rays. Papaya, carrots, peaches and foods with an orange color are rich in Vitamin A.

    2. Vitamin C- slows the progression of cataracts.

    3. Vitamin E- prevents macular degeneration.

    4. Zinc and Selenium- prevent bacterial infections.

    5. Lutein and Zeaxanthin- important elements in the prevention of vision degeneration and the maintenance of retina health. The human body cannot produce Lutein or Zeaxanthin on its own and can only acquire them from natural foods and nutritional products, like supplemental milk formulas and vitamin supplements.

    6. Bilberry- commonly used in promoting eye health, bilberries can strengthen blood vessels and improve blood circulation.

How to protect your eyes:

1. Get an eye exam every year.

2. Avoid scratching your eyes.

3. If you have hypertension and hyperglycemia, keep your blood pressure and blood glucose levels within the normal range.

4. If it is sunny out, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from overexposure to ultraviolet rays.

5. When reading a book or the newspapers, make sure you have sufficient lighting. Avoid reading in a reclined position, and maintain an appropriate distance of at least one foot between your eyes and the reading material. For every hour you read a book or look at the computer monitor, rest your eyes for five to ten minutes.

6. Limit your time of using the computer and watching the television. Repeated use of the computer and TV without rest is damaging to your macula.  

7. Quit smoking, because smoking quickens vision degeneration.

8. Get sleep and rest your eyes.

 
     

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