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Age-related vision loss: separating fact and fiction

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Vision deterioration from aging is a common phenomenon, but proper steps can be taken to help lessen the effects.

Experiencing vision loss or symptoms of age-related eye disease?

You’re probably not alone — our vision naturally tends to deteriorate with age. Some forms of vision loss, such as presbyopia (when you have a hard time seeing objects close to you), are extremely common, and are considered normal changes to your eyes with age.

Others, such as macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness, are considered major age-related eye diseases, and are growing more common today.

Signs of vision loss usually begin to hit around the age of 40, much earlier than most might think. This means that careful attention to your eyes should be taken from an earlier age.

However, with the abundance of information that we hear about the issue, it may be hard to distinguish between the myths and truths of vision loss.

Here are some commonly heard statements:

1. Vision loss is impossible to prevent

While it may not be possible to entirely prevent the vision loss that aging brings along with it, there are many ways we can prevent our sight from further degradation, and reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases.

For instance, getting regular eye examinations can be extremely effective. It is especially important in protecting yourself from age-related diseases, as comprehensive checks might be able to detect them at early stages.

Having the appropriate eyewear can also help you to avoid straining your eyes.

More importantly, adopting a proper nutritional diet has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of developing some of these diseases, or slowing the process of vision degradation. It is also non-intrusive and largely inexpensive.


PHOTO: BRAND'S

BRAND’S® Lutein Essence is a health supplement that offers a simple, convenient way to meet these dietary requirements, as they increase your intake of important antioxidants tied to vision health.

2. Carrots improve your eyesight

In truth, carrots can improve bad vision — with a large caveat: it mostly does so only if you are deficient in vitamin A.

The beta-carotene (a pigment found in plants and fruits) in carrots is converted into vitamin A by our body. This vitamin A aids us in maintaining normal vision.

However, most of us have plenty of vitamin A in our diet, and eating additional, large quantities of carrots will likely do little to improve our eyesight.

In fact, a high intake of beta-carotene has been shown to be harmful in some instances. It has been suggested that very high doses of the substance may increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers.

The AREDS2 study outlines this, and suggests that the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are better alternatives to beta-carotene for the purposes of eye health, being equally effective and without the negative risks.

3. Leafy greens aid vision

The aforementioned carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are present in leafy vegetables such as spinach.

These carotenoids have been shown by the same AREDS2 study to have a protective effect against the development of advanced macular degeneration.

Five cups of raw spinach (1500g) provide 10mg of lutein, an amount clinically supported when it comes to protecting vision health.

Supplementing your diet


PHOTO: BRAND'S
 

BRAND’S® Lutein Essence supports vision health protection with a scientifically proven combination of lutein and zeaxanthin.

It contains a five-to-one ratio of lutein and zeaxanthin, which is supported by the US National Eye Institute as a recommended dietary ratio to benefit vision health.

BRAND’S® Lutein Essence is also formulated with patented FloraGLO® Lutein, the most clinically researched lutein. It has been shown to support vision health, and is also easily absorbed by the body.