Post written by Dr. Jill Buck, O.D.
If losing weight or getting in better physical shape is part of the new and improved you in 2013, here is one more important reason to keep up the good work: It’s good for your eyes! All that hard work may make you look great on the outside, but it is also helping to make your eyes look healthy on the inside.
Losing some extra pounds will help to keep from developing diabetes and hypertension. Both of these conditions can cause damage to the small blood vessels in the back of the eye. The damage to the tiny blood vessels can eventually lead to blindness. Many people will attempt to lose weight with exercise. Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the optic nerve and retina.
Eating well is also hugely important to good eye health. Consuming a proper amount of omega 3 fatty acids is not only good for your heart, but essential in promoting a healthy tear film. A healthy tear film not only helps you to see more clearly, but will make your eyes more comfortable and more resistant to infection.
A diet high in antioxidants can make for a well-functioning macula. The macula, which is resposible for sharp 20/20 vision, greatly benefits from lots of green leafy vegetables and richly-colored fruits. A diet low in saturated fats is also healthy for the macula and beneficial to the cornea. The macula also likes to be protected from UV rays. Keep your 100% UV protection sunglasses on when outside to help from developing cataracts as well.
Hopefully, you are turning your resolutions into a great new lifesyle for 2013 and beyond. Pat yourself on the back and rejoice that you are doing great things for your body inside and out!