Natural help for eyes

As we get older our eyes become vulnerable, and around 1 in 7 over 55 year olds will suffer from macular degeneration. This is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision impairment worldwide, and a study in the Archives of Ophthalmology reports on the benefits of Omega-3 for reducing the risk.

Macular degeneration (MD) affects central vision and this gradually deteriorates causing functional blindness. Peripheral vision is not at first greatly affected; but over time peripheral vision is also reduced. A study of 8,000 people in the Netherlands found that those who developed the disease were more likely to be smokers and have high cholesterol and that because free radical damage has been linked to MD that antioxidants can reduce the disease’s progress.

However, a more recent study has shown a clear link between consumption of Omega-3 and reduction in age-related MD. Dr Chong of the University of Melbourne did a meta-analysis of nine studies which covered 90,000 people, and 3000 of those had age-related MD.

Back to the benefits of fish again, because her study found that eating just one portion of Omega-3 rich fish may reduce the risk of contracting MD by over 50%. In fact increasing your daily intake by 300 mg per day of the Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, reduces the risk of MD by about 70%.

If fish really isn’t your favourite then you can get Omega-3 from flaxseed oil which is also rich in lutein and that’s one of the antioxidants that boosts eye health and prevents cataracts and macular degeneration. These are the essential elements for good eye health:

BETA-CAROTENE which destroys free radicals and helps keep eye tissue healthy.

VITAMIN C and VITAMIN E are antioxidant and protect the eye from sun damage

ZINC and COPPER are antioxidant and protect our eyes

B VITAMIN complex to fight free radicals in your eyes, particularly the cornea and the myelin sheath around the optic nerve

TAURINE is an essential amino acid for retina health and blocks out UV rays and environmental toxins.

EYEBRIGHT is a herb that been traditionally used to relieve irritated eyes and strengthen blood vessels in the eyes.

Otherwise it’s the usual mix of dark green leafy vegetables, particularly spinach, and a varied daily diet to keep your eyes sparkling.