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“What is good for you is good for you”, is such a simple phrase but covers so much. When speaking with patients who do not want to develop the eye diseases their parents or grandparents have they express a need to have control of the process. They want something they can do so they do not need to go through the suffering of macular degeneration or glaucoma.
“Eat real food and move your body” is the next step in that simple phrase. Boiling down complex research and epidemiology you find that antioxidant foods and omega 3 fatty acids are protective for both macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Specifically, the vitamins in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, eggs and broccoli contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are protective for the macula. Wild salmon and grass feed beef both have an adequate balance of omega 3 fatty acids and are “real foods”.
The positive affect of exercise on the eye is curious to many patients. There is both basic science research and a large epidemiological studies that point to improved cardiovascular fitness having a positive impact on both macular degeneration and glaucoma. When you realize that there is an inflammatory component to macular degeneration and a vascular component to glaucoma it is not as surprising.
If you step back and accept the concept we are a species that was designed to be on this planet, eating what is naturally available and moving a body that was made to move (and move fast and at times for long distances, but I digress), then it is not unreasonable to conceive that one of our primary sensory organs would benefit from proper nutrition and exercise.