It has been said that the body should function like a well-oiled machine, with all of its various systems working together seamlessly to keep you running smoothly. This intimate interconnection means that many of the things that are generally considered healthy and beneficial for your body also greatly benefit your eyesight as well. At Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we are concerned not only with treating the various diseases and conditions that can negatively impact your vision, but also with helping you maintain strong, healthy eyesight throughout your lifetime. Here are some general healthy lifestyle tips that can keep your eyes at their best.
Elevated blood glucose levels, a common effect of diabetes, can begin to deteriorate the tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the light-sensitive cells of the retina. This can result in a condition called diabetic retinopathy, where those blood vessels gradually begin to leak blood and other fluids into the eye itself. As the condition worsens, fluid leakage can cause blurred vision, macular edema, or even a detached retina, any of which could potentially progress into complete vision loss.
Control Your Blood Pressure
The same tiny blood vessels in the eye that can be damaged by high blood glucose levels can also be stressed to the point of breakage by hypertension. When heart disease or high cholesterol results in abnormally high blood pressure, blood and fluids can again leak into the eye, causing the same retinopathy symptoms.
Studies have found that people who smoke have double the normal risk of developing cataracts, a gradual clouding of the eye’s natural lens that can ultimately lead to permanent vision loss. Moreover, smoking has also been determined to be the single biggest controllable risk factor associated with age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of severe vision loss among men and women over the age of sixty.
Get Your Vitamins
Foods rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, like colorful vegetables, kale, and spinach, help the eyes convert light into a signal that can be transmitted to the brain and are necessary for sustaining good vision. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, which are commonly found in citrus fruits and whole grains, protect cells from the damage caused by the free radicals and aid in the production of melanin, which acts like a natural sunscreen to shield the eyes from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
There are many other ways in which your health can interact with your eyesight. If you are concerned that a health condition, like diabetes or high blood pressure, may be affecting your vision, or if you have concerns about vision problems like macular degeneration or cataracts, please contact Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons to schedule an eye exam with Dr. William Segal or Dr. Marc Lay today. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more information on how to keep your vision healthy.