Without visual acuity, we are less able to perform all the tasks and activities we would like without some type of obstacle. Needing eyeglasses or contact lenses is one thing; developing a chronic, and potentially serious eye condition is another. Eye disease usually have a certain degree of heredity behind them. However, research is also demonstrating the fact that many of us have a fair amount of control over other factors related to common eye conditions. Let’s look at two of them here.
The macula is a central structure in the eye that is responsible for taking in light and translating that into sight by sending messages to the brain. Under certain circumstances, breakdown of the macula may occur. When it does, a blurriness, distortion, or complete darkness could develop in central vision. Ultimately, a person could become legally blind if macular degeneration runs its course. The condition cannot be cured, but it can be treated. Also, research shows that there may be a few ways to mitigate the risk factors such as:
- High blood pressure
- Consumption of excessive unhealthy fats, processed foods, and meat
Of the risks associated with macular degeneration, one that stands out as a leading cause is smoking. Avoiding this habit does a lot to improve long-term eye health. Studies are also investigating the role of UV exposure in the development of this condition.
A cataract is the buildup of protein on the lens of the eye. Largely considered an age-related condition, cataracts may affect one or both eyes, and may make it difficult to see clearly. Like macular degeneration, cataracts could also eventually lead to a severe loss of vision. Learning what factors you can control allows you to work toward avoiding this condition. Some of them include UV exposure, hypertension, and diabetes.
From what we have seen in research, many of the same habits that promote general health and wellness, such as avoiding excessive sun exposure and eating lots of leafy greens, also benefit eye health. Also, routine eye exams are advantageous in learning about your risks for eye disease, and minimizing those risks with personal eye care.
For your visit to Aloha Eye Clinic, call one of our two conveniently located offices on Maui.