There is a saying that your eyes are windows to your soul. I don’t know about that but I do know that a lot of systemic illnesses can manifest in your eyes.

One of the problems with weight gain is diabetes caused by high blood sugar. This increases the risk of eye problems.

Ever experienced a sudden blurriness of your vision? Your glasses don’t seem to work and it’s a big change, one of the reasons could be diabetes because high blood sugar causes the lens of the eye to swell up and changes your ability to see. It could take up to 3 months of treatment to control the blood sugar and get your vision back to normal. So don’t rush to change your prescription, get your blood sugar under control first.

Diabetes can also lead to an earlier onset and faster progress of cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy which can cause irreversible blindness.

Losing weight can lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of eye problems from diabetes.

I also want to mention some foods that are good for the retina. This is a layer of specialised cells in the back of the eye that converts light as it enters through the lens of the eye into images (just like a camera!). The optic nerve then transmits the visual information to the brain.

  • Antioxidants fight off free radicals that can cause damage.
  • Vitamin C – Citrus fruits,bell peppers,broccoli.
  • Vitamin A as beta carotene – orange,yellow and red fruits and vegetables.
  • Vitamin E – sunflower seeds,almonds and leafy vegetables.
  • Omega 3 – flaxseed,flaxseed oil and walnuts.
  • Zinc – meats,poultry,oysters,liver,eggs,legumes and whole grains.
  • Selenium – seafood,organ meats.
  • Phytochemicals – kale,collards,romaine lettuce,green beans and broccoli.

References

WebMd

Medline Plus:Retinal disorders

American Optometric Association:Lutein and Zeaxanthin.


 

Contributed by
Dr Nwanyieze Ohanenye,O.D