Ocular HealthOcular Health
We need to provide our organism with the necessary nutrients and vitamins to protect our sight as much as we can. This is the only way to keep our eyes healthy as we grow old.Our eyes have never been as exposed to all kinds of harmful elements like now. We work in front of a computer screen for hours and we spend most of our time watching the TV, reading or checking our mobile phones. The sight is one of our most important senses. Thanks to it, we can see objects, we have the ability orient ourselves and we can distinguish between light and dark. Each object is perceived differently depending on its brightness and color. On the other hand, the pupil reacts differently depending on the brightness and distance. The eyes and the elements that make them up, like the cornea, iris, pupil, eye nerve and retina need nutrients and vitamins in order to function properly. Any tiny disturbance can have serious consequences and deteriorate our eyes.
The causes of ocular diseases and the main defects of the sight
The aqueous humor (the liquid located in the eyeball before the crystalline lens) affects our ability to see properly. However, the eyes are not the only ones responsible for a defect in the sight, since it can be due to other causes, or defective organic functions.
The health of the eyeball affects the retina, cornea, crystalline lens and vitreous humor.
From the age of 20 onward the sight starts to deteriorate and we see less clearly. Even though this process tend to be slow, sometimes the external conditions can accelerate this process.
Causes of agingThe main causes of this premature aging can be due to working or reading without enough light. As we mentioned previously, subjecting our eyes to the radiation of screens from the computer or mobile phone will not help. Anyone who works with a computer will be more exposed. The first sign is when the eyes start to hurt. Moreover, the stress from work can also affect our ocular health. Other risk factor for our sight is working in places with a lot of dust or sand, as well as laboratories or industries with many chemical products. The smoke from tobacco also produces ocular fatigue and the UV rays from the sun, both in summer and winter, are harmful for the eyes. Sunlight emits UV rays that can damage the eyes and skin. It produces free radicals which damage the inside of the eyes. Moreover, the chlorine from the swimming pool also damages the eyes.
How to protect the eyes from the UV rays
It is necessary to use protective glasses when necessary and when we swim in the pool so that the chlorine does not damage our eyes. Always use good lighting to lessen the ocular fatigue and to relax the eyes when we feel tiredness or itchiness, blink or moisten the eyes.
It is advisable to protect the eyes against the UV rays with sunglasses and even with a hat when the sun is more aggressive.
Staring vacantly is a trick to relieve visual fatigue.
Diagnosis and treatmentPeriodic sight tests are the best method thanks to their high efficacy to detect and treat eyes problems and ametropy in time (myopia, astigmatism and hypermetropia)
Refractive errors which are not fixed tend to lead to a visual over-exertion and difficulty to focus, headaches and ocular fatigue. Going to the ophthalmologist (even if we see properly and we do not have any problem) is the best way to detect alterations and even prevent them up to a 50% of the cases. Moreover, the eye tests can help us identify other diseases that manifest through our eyes such as hypertension, diabetes or some brain tumors.
Disorders like glaucoma or macular degeneration will be easier to treat the sooner they are detected.
Vitamins and supplements for the health of our eyes
The vitamins that our eyes need are:
A healthy and varied diet with fruit and vegetables has the necessary ingredients to protect our eyes.
Vitamin AVitamin A plays a very important role by helping to protect our ocular health and the photoreceptor cells. The foods that contain vitamin A are beef liver, carrots, vegetables, potatoes, butter and egg yolk.
Vitamins C and EThey help to fight against the free radicals. We can find vitamin C in the following foods: parsley, cabbage, broccoli, citrus and peppers. Vitamin E is present in vegetable oils, walnuts, asparagus and kale.
CarotenoidsGroup A vitamins such as beta-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin and lutein.
Carrots, vegetables and tomatos are rich in carotenoids. There is lutein in the following foods: spinach and kale. The egg yolk contains lutein, which is a substance that our body cannot produce. Therefore, we have to provide food sources of lutein to our body.
These vitamins protect us against the damage of the free radicals, including macular degeneration, cataracts and other age-related sight problems.
PolyphenolsThey improve our sight. Some of the food sources are: cranberries, currants, maqui berries and grape seeds.
Dietary supplements are a good alternative, since they contain all the nutrients that the eyes need on a daily basis. We can protect our ocular health and improve our sight when there are problems thanks to these supplements.
It is one of the most powerful antioxidants. Astaxanthin improves our sight and helps to protect the retina from the damage of the ultraviolet rays.
Omega 3 fatty acidsThey play a very important role when it comes to preventing diseases of the retina like ARMD and for the production of tears, which keep the eye moistened.
Omega 3 are widely advised for those who suffer dry eye syndrome.