Practicing Good Eye Health

How much do you know about your eyes? Did you know that the Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat in fish is good for your eyes? What about your eyes and computer use? These and other questions are answered here.


Test Your Eye IQ

Besides the color of your eyes, how much do you really know about them? Take this Eye IQ test to find out what you know -- and what you need to know -- about your eyes and keeping your precious baby browns, sparkling blues, glorious greens, or happy hazels healthy. Simply answer "true" or "false"!

  1. The colored portion of eye is called the iris.
  2. The Food Guide Pyramid recommends consuming one fruit and two vegetable servings each day. Eating a combined total of three a day can help protect eye health.
  3. Carotenoids are promising eye-protective nutrients that give foods their rich colors. They're what make tomatoes ruby red, watermelons vivid pink and sweet potatoes deep orange.
  4. The outer covering of eye is called the cornea. It's transparent. When light rays are reflected off an object, it enters eyes through corneas. This is when vision begins.
  5. Zinc, important for retina, is found mainly in carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach.
  6. Lutein is a carotenoid found in vegetables and fruits. Lutein acts as an antioxidant and may help to protect me against age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
  7. The retina is a thin layer of tissue at the back of eye. It contains millions of tiny nerve cells, called rods and cones, which sense light.
  8. Omega-3 is a type of polyunsaturated fat that may reduce risk of developing AMD.
  9. Cells in retina convert light into electrical impulses. These impulses are sent by optic nerve to brain. Then, brain produces an image.
  10. Regular eye exams by an eye-care physician can help protect eye health.

Answer key:

  1. T
  2. F -- a minimum of two fruit and three vegetable servings are recommended -- five a day
  3. T
  4. T
  5. F -- zinc is found in wheat germ, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, sunflower seeds, almonds, tofu, brown rice, milk, ground beef and chicken
  6. T
  7. T
  8. T
  9. T
  10. T

What's Your Eye IQ?

Nothing looks fishy here. Omega-3s, commonly found in fish, can play an important role in your eye health. Omega-3 is a type of polyunsaturated fat found in seafood, especially cold-water, higher-fat fish, such as salmon and mackerel, albacore tuna and lake trout. It's also found in flaxseed, flaxseed oil, soybean oil and canola oil.

Recent studies link Omega-3s to prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). One study, in particular, suggests that eating fish once or more a month may reduce the risk of developing AMD by half.

Go fish!

Note: Fish oil supplements containing Omega 3s are not currently recommended as replacements for fish or other dietary sources of omega-3.

Source:

Five Simple Diet Tips to Keep Your Eyes Fit

Here are the combined diet recommendations from dietitians Maye Musk and Barbara Gollman:

  1. Don't go fat-free -- get your vitamin E. Savor the taste of vegetable-derived oils splashed on your salads and in your stir-fries.
  2. Go for the greens. They're rich in lutein. Throw handfuls of dark leafy greens, like spinach or kale, into soups or bean dishes. Stir watercress into mashed potatoes or add to romaine and red leaf lettuce salads. Try a simple sauté of green or red chard with lots of garlic and a squeeze of lemon.
  3. Think of your plate as an artist's palette; design your meals with a myriad of festive-colors -- the richer the color, generally the more eye-protective nutrients it provides.
  4. Often make fruits, veggies and other nutrient-filled plant foods your entrées, not sides.
  5. Remember the pleasure principle. Enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables. The key word here: Enjoy!

Computer Use and Your Eyes: A Discussion With Robert Abel, Jr., M.D

As the number one eye condition is "needing glasses," Abel says that myopia (nearsightedness) is "no longer just genetic." Closed-In spaces might make a person more nearsighted. This includes staring at your computer too long. Abel points out that when overuse computers, might notice red irritable eyes, plus " increase tendency to become nearsighted."

Here are seven eye-healthy tips for computer users:

Dr. Abel is a clinical professor of Ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University and author of "The Eye Care Revolution."

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