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Eye health: Nutritionist reveals foods that protect your eyes

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Food affects every part of the body, including the eyes.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has some advice on how food can be used to improve eye health.

In official advice they say: “There is evidence to show that a healthy diet prevents the development of eye conditions, abana apart oteller although this link isn’t as strong as it is for other conditions such as heart disease.

“However, eating a healthy balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables may help to keep your eyes as healthy as they can be.”

One of the benefits of moving to a healthier diet is weight loss, a factor discussed by the RNIB: “Some of the health complications of being overweight can cause problems that affect your sight.

“These include retinal vessel occlusions, diabetic eye problems and eye conditions related to stroke.”

Retinal vessel occlusion is a term used to describe a condition that occurs where a blockage occurs in the blood vessel at the back of the eye.

This can result in sight loss.

Retinal vessel occlusion is caused, says the RNIB, by a condition known as Atherosclerosis, “a condition where plaque builds up inside the walls of arteries”.

While this may sound like a condition more akin to be related to heart disease, it can affect the eyes too.

Every so often a piece of this plaque breaks off; known as an embolus, this can block a smaller blood vessel causing an embolism.

Where this relates to the eye is if the blockage occurs in the retina, thus the term retinal artery occlusion.

With regard to treatment of this form of eye condition, “there is little treatment that can help to bring back sight,” says the RNIB.

Attempts can be made to dislodge the blockage such as lowering eye pressure or massaging the eye.

Following diagnosis of retinal artery occlusion, it is recommended to discuss with a GP whether there is an underlying cause for what has occurred; as the problem originates in plaque building up the arteries, this could be down to poor diet.

However, as each patient is different, there is unlikely to be a uniform cause.

What it does demonstrate however, is that dietary changes for good or for ill can have a significant impact on parts of the body not traditionally associated with edibles.

Meanwhile, in a world full of screens there is a simple exercise that can be employed to reduce PC induced eye strain.

Known as the 20-20-20 rule, it involves looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

For more information about eye health contact the NHS or consult with your GP.

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