In the discussion on better mental health, eyes are frequently forgotten. Vision loss is regularly associated with depression and increased anxiety. There is good news though! Many of the same recommendations for optimum physical and mental health also benefit eye health!
- Enjoy Antioxidants: Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables are important to eye health, helping enzymes break down damaged proteins that cause cataracts. Diets high in vitamins C and E as well as an assortment of carotenoids improve eye health. Without these antioxidants plaque is more likely to build up on blood vessel walls, damaging the eye.
- Eat Healthy Fats: Salmon, walnuts, avocado and olive oil are low in saturated fat and contain healthy fats that prevent eye damage. Omega-3 fatty acid found in salmon and soy products can reduce symptoms of dry eye.
- Exercise Regularly: Many diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol levels result in eye problems. Exercise can reduce the risk of these diseases, therefore lowering the threat of eye problems. Studies have shown that physical activity reduces the risk of glaucoma by 25 percent.
- No Smoking: Smoking leads to a plethora of health issues, and eye damage is one of them. Reduced blood supply to the eyes caused from cigarettes thickens blood and narrows blood vessels.
- Protect from UV Rays: The skin around the eye is extremely thin and very susceptible to damage from UV light. Tanning beds or excessive sunlight can cause corneal sunburn. UV exposure is also associated with cataracts. To avoid damage from the sun, wear a long brimmed hat and UV- blocking sunglasses.