Why is eye care important? The words of Jesus in Matthew 13:16 states, “Blessed are your eyes, because they see.”. Blessed! It is good fortune to possess eyes that are healthy and free from any eye condition like age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a popular eye disease that affects the central part of the retina resulting in the distortion or loss of vision. Smokers, people with high blood pressure and those in their golden years are at risk in developing this condition. So it’s best to start your eye care now by having a healthy balanced diet.
In Genesis 1:29, God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.” and verse 31 reads, “God looked at what he had done. All of it was very good!”
The Scripture, whether you believe it or not, informs that fresh fruits and vegetables are good for one’s health. Vitamins A, C and E found in fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables are essentials for eye nutrition. Vitamin A is good for the cornea, Vitamin C helps the capillaries in the retina to be healthy and Vitamin E helps protect eye cells from damages caused by free radicals.
Copper and zinc are essentials for eye nutrition too. Copper-rich foods like whole wheat cereals and oysters are necessary for the development of proper eye structure. While consumption of seafood, eggs and tofu give off zinc which helps in absorbing nutrients, and eliminating the wastes.
Omega-3 fatty acids from salmon and tuna are also good for the eyes. It helps in reducing the risk of developing macular degeneration and blocks other eye diseases like the dry eye syndrome.
Eye nutrition is also about what not to eat. Some foods you should not eat for eye care purposes are processed meat and ready-to-eat foods because of their high-sodium content which contributes to hypertension that may lead to macular degeneration. Fried foods, especially those fried in trans fat, raise the level of bad cholesterol in the body which may cause different eye diseases.
Note that you need to hydrate yourself, but beverages like sugary drinks, alcohol and caffeine are not eye nutrition essentials. Avoid any of these if you can, or at least drink in moderation. Remember that the best way to hydrate yourself is by drinking water.
Aside from a healthy diet, there is regular exercise, adequate rest, a healthy body weight, quitting smoking, using appropriate eye wear and having your eyes checked by a doctor. All these are part of proper eye care.
When you eat healthy, exercise regularly, and are properly rested, you are most likely to achieve a healthy body weight. This results in a controlled blood pressure, controlled cholesterol level, and low risk of getting diabetes which translates to low risk of acquiring vision problems.
Eye care also involves making sure your hands are clean when handling your contact lenses. Wear eyeglasses when exposed to the sun and use appropriate protective eyewear to prevent getting eye injuries.
It’s important to have your eyes checked by an eye specialist at least once a year. In the event you find out you have any eye condition, learn about the risk factors and possible treatment. Some eye diseases can not be cured once you have it, no matter how strict you follow a diet for eye nutrition, the condition may be irreversible.