DIET AND LIFESTYLE
Although genetics may play a role in vision and eye health, it is commonly accepted that we are able to influence the genetic cards that you have been dealt by changes in lifestyle.
A perfect example is a patient who has a parent with macular degeneration: (Insert Photo). This is a condition where the center of the retina becomes damaged, and vision is diminished. There indeed could be a genetic component, and we are able to test you for the ARMS-2 , GEN-1 and CFH genes. But what else can be done?
Diet and lifestyle, of course! We routinely give advice to patients about improving their diet. In addition, we know that patients who are overweight, and those that smoke are putting themselves at-risk for developing or worsening macular degeneration. During our Integrated Exam, we will discuss these issues, as well as others in order to achieve our mission of preserving eyesight for our patients.
HOW DOES DIET HELP?
Although we should all eat a balanced diet, there are certain foods which are especially important for eyesight. We are referring to the foods that contain LUTEIN and ZEAXANTHIN.
People who have a diet which contain a large amount of green leafy vegetables on a daily basis should theoretically have a higher amount of this eyesight-preserving carotenoid. In our clinic, we are able to measure the level of lutein in your retina. If your level is high, then that’s great! If your level is below average, them we will tell you, and we can assist you in increasing your lutein level.
At Toronto Integrated Eye Care, we are focused on taking preventive measures to avoid eye disease, rather than have patients undergo years of treatment for these diseases which possibly could have been be avoided.
According to the National Institutes of Health in the USA, here is sound scientific-based advice on preserving eyesight:
EAT HEALTHY FOODS
Be sure to have plenty of dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens. Eating fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids — like salmon, tuna, and halibut — is good for your eyes, too.
Being physically active helps you stay healthy. It can also lower your risk of health conditions that can cause eye health or vision problems — like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs — it can hurt your eyes, too! Smoking increases your risk of diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts — and it can harm the optic nerve.
Please remember that it is never too late to make positive lifestyle changes.
HOW CAN OUR CLINIC HELP?
It is not hard to figure out which foods make up a healthy diet. But how do we know if our diet is really working to help preserve our eyesight? Toronto Integrated Eye Care is in a unique position to help.
Through genetic testing, we can determine if you have a genetic pre-disposition for age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). If you are genetically predisposed, then your diet and supplements should be spectacular.
By measuring your pigment level in the macula (MPOD) , we can advise you about your current protection from oxidation (read “rusting”) inside your retina. Not only that, but we can advise you on what can be done to increase your pigment level. The higher the pigment level, the lower the chance of developing macular degeneration.
Omega-3 fatty acids are critical to control inflammation, improve tear quality in patients with “dry eye”, and also have a benefit for the retina. Adding a portion of fatty fish every day may not be possible. And for those who take Omega-3 supplements, you are likely unsure about how much actually is in your bloodstream, or more specifically, how much is getting to those important tissues of the eye. We are now able to test your Omega-3 level. Directly! Once we know your test results, we can give you the best advice about how to optimize your Omega-3 intake.
1243 Islington Ave. Suite 905