Telling you that carrots help you see better wasn’t just a ploy your mother used to get you to finish your veggies at dinner. What you eat today goes a long way in defining your tomorrow. Research has proven that a healthy balanced diet is the best you can do for your body, including your eyes, since it lowers the blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels. This in turn allows you to prevent the symptoms of diabetes to develop.
Our ability to see is a wonder we take for granted. Losing the ability to visualize details, appreciate colors and perform detailed activities is a sign of poor eye health and must be considered immediately.
Diabetes Related Eye Conditions and Prevention:
Both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes results in eye related conditions such as cataract, glaucoma and retinopathy, which often leads to blindness. High blood glucose levels increase the risk factors of ocular conditions and must be curtailed to maintain eye health.
Retinopathy is a condition resulting in damage to the retina. Spikes in the blood glucose levels cause damage to the tiny nerves in the tissues, hindering a steady flow of oxygen to the retina, and nerve cells of the retina causing the retina to swell up and signal the body to produce more blood vessels. Symptoms include blurred vision, flashing vision, blind spots, floating spots in front of the eyes and abnormal growth of blood vessels on the retina, which on rupturing causes the eyes to bleed. Over time, retinopathy can lead to blindness.
Prevention: The culprit is the blood glucose levels in the tiny blood capillaries nourishing the cells of your retina. Keeping it in check is the only way to lower the risk factor of retinopathy. Eating a healthy balanced diet, low in fats and carbohydrates, and rich in fiber, fruits, vitamins and minerals slows down the absorption of glucose from the intestine and prevent a rise in the blood glucose levels. Some researchers go as far as to say that a purely vegan diet, including rice, fruits, soy products, vegetables, legumes, lentils, wholegrain and nuts and having a low glycemic index, might be the next miraculous breakthrough in controlling diabetes.
Cataracts are the clouding up of the eyes, hampering your eyesight. The symptoms of cataract include glare sensitivity, blurred vision and the appearance of a second sight. This condition is generally age related, but diabetics are at a much higher risk of developing cataract at a younger age.
Prevention: Diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids, such as salmon, nuts and fish liver cod oil, Lutein, abundant in leafy greens, kale and collard and Vitamin C and E, ward off the risks of procuring cataracts. A diet rich in antioxidants fights off the free radical from oxidation in response to ultraviolet light of the sun and maintains the overall health of the eye.
Glaucoma is the result of poor drainage of the eye fluids because of the blockage of the drainage network of the eye, resulting in an increased eye pressure and damaging the blood vessels covering the retina. Diabetics with a complication of retinopathy are at a greater risk to glaucoma because the production of excess blood vessels disrupts the drainage pattern of the eye.
Prevention: Consuming a diet rich in Vitamin C (Citrus fruits, capsicum and bell peppers), Vitamin A(Carrots, egg yolks, liver), carotenoids( leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, kale, bell peppers, collard and sweet potatoes), Omega 3 fatty acids( oily fishes such as salmon, herring, and fish liver cod oil) and vitamin D(egg, liver, dairy) reduce the risk of glaucoma to a minimum.
Macular Degeneration causes the deterioration of the eye macula, the part of the eye responsible for color contrast.. Causing blurred vision and blind spots, macular degeneration can result in to a permanent loss of sight.
Prevention: The beta carotene rich foods, such as carrots and kale, digest in to vitamin A inside the body and promote healthy eyesight. The most redeeming quality perhaps is the improvement of night vision. Vitamin A allows the brain to convert the light from the surrounding in to a signal that allows us to see things, even under low light. A deficiency of Vitamin A leads to night blindness or over dry eyes.
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