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Eye Health Information

Healthy Lifestyle

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Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining good eye health

There are certain lifestyle changes you can make to keep your eyes as healthy as possible.

A healthy and balanced diet

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is essential for maintaining good health and preventing many diseases from occurring.

A balanced diet means eating a wide variety of foods from within and across each of the five food groups, and in recommended portions. Foods are often categorised into groups based on their nutrient content. These include:

  • vegetables and legumes/beans,
  • fruit,
  • grain (cereal) foods,
  • meats and alternatives,
  • dairy and alternatives.

Research has shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.

Eating a variety of different foods provides your eyes with the adequate nutrition needed to function, as well as maintaining general health and well being.

Alcohol

Recent studies found a connection between moderate levels of alcohol consumption and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of Australia’s most common causes of vision loss.

Two standard alcoholic drinks per day, of wine or beer, can increase the risk of developing AMD, compared to non-drinkers.

Consuming more than 20 grams of alcohol per day, or the current Australian recommendation for a maximum daily intake, is associated with a *20% increase in an early onset of AMD. A standard glass of wine or beer contains approximately 15g of alcohol.

*Study conducted by CERA, Cancer Council, University of Melbourne.

Smoking

Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, and optic nerve damage – all of which can lead to blindness. Quitting smoking, or not starting in the first place, is one way you can help protect your eyes from unnecessary risks, and ensure that good vision is maintained for as long as possible.

Healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight, combined with being physically fit, promotes good health and helps fight disease. Being overweight increases your risk of developing diabetes, and other health conditions, which can lead to vision loss such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.

Exercise

Research has shown that high blood pressure and diabetes can contribute to an increased risk of developing eye disease. Keeping physically fit by leading an active lifestyle is one way to maintain good eye health and ward off disease.

The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.

References

www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au
www.abc.net.au/health
www.hollows.org.au/eye-health
www.nei.nih.gov/health/healthyeyes
www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer

To learn more about the eye and how it works, click here.

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