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Consultant eye surgeon Mr Shafif Rehman revealed smoothies could be beneficial for the eyes. “To help support healthy eyesight, smoothies made of green vegetables are good,” said the consultant at Optegra Eye Hospital. Mr Rehman continued: “Foods like kale, spinach, broccoli, peas and avocado contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which reduce the amount of damaging light to the eye.”
The group consultant eye surgeon explained lutein and zeaxanthin “can help reduce age-related macular degeneration and slow its progression”.
Age-related macular degeneration typically first affects people in their 50s and 60s.
The NHS points out signs that you might already suffer from the degenerative eye condition.
If you notice any “blurred or distorted area in your vision”, in either eye or both, this could indicate age-related macular degeneration.
As the condition worsens, you could eventually “struggle to see anything in the middle of your vision”.
Symptoms of age-related macular degeneration can include:
- Seeing straight lines as wavy or crooked
- Objects looking smaller than normal
- Colours seem less bright than they used to
- Seeing things that are not there (hallucinations).
While the condition is not physically painful, distorted vision can make it very difficult to recognise familiar faces.
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Echoing Mr Rehman’s words, Nimmi Mistry – a professional services optician at Vision Direct – said: “Food that has been shown to help improve eyesight, or at least protect it, are those that contain certain vitamins, such as lutein and zeaxanthin.”
Mistry added: “These vitamins can help increase the supply of nutrients your eyes receive which will not only improve eye health but decrease dry eye discomfort, eye problems, as well as eye diseases.”
Yet, Mistry said “the most important drink for eye health is water” as hydration is essential for the lubrication of the eyes.
“Adults should be drinking at least two litres of water per day,” Mistry stated.
As for drinks that could damage eyesight, both Mr Rehman and Misry agree that alcohol is damaging.
“When it comes to healthy eyesight, the main drink to avoid is large quantities of alcohol,” said Mr Rehman.
“This can be damaging to your eye health as well as other parts of the body,” he added.
“People who consume too much alcohol can develop optic nerve degeneration that can affect eyesight – sometimes very severely and permanently.”
Mr Rehman explained: “The mechanisms are complex but may involve direct toxicity as well as nutritional depletion – especially B vitamins with poor diet linked to high alcohol intake.”
Nimmy stated that in the short-term, alcohol consumption can lead to “dry eye disease, red eyes and eyelid twitching”.
Following continuous consumption of alcohol, “amblyopia” can occur, which is the medical term to describe a “lazy eye”.
Cataracts is another risk (cloudy patches covering the lens of the eye and blurring of the vision).
“At the end of the day, the key to drinking alcohol is to simply have it in moderation,” said Nimmy.
“This way, you can protect both your body and your eye health going forward.”
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