February 10, 2005.
Trinity Mirror Group (UK).
Poor diets and unhealthy lifestyles could be to blame for an "alarming" decline in the UK's vision, eye care experts have warned.
The Eyecare Trust said that the number of people registered blind or partially sighted in the UK had increased by more than 60% in the last 20 years.
But the charity said that simple changes in diet and lifestyle could help combat serious eye problems in the future.
"Age-related conditions such as cataracts, which affect more than 80% of people aged 75 years and over, and macular degeneration can be prevented, slowed or even reversed by eating a healthy diet and living a healthy lifestyle," the Eyecare Trust said.
Research has revealed that eating just three portions of fruit a day reduces the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration by more than a third.
To keep eyes healthier for longer, the Eyecare Trust recommends eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, maintaining a low-fat diet and avoiding foods high in fat and cholesterol and eating food rich in antioxidants - such as leafy green vegetables, carrots and tomatoes - which may help neutralise "free radicals" that can injure healthy cells.
The charity suggests that some people may benefit from taking supplements to make up for the essential nutrients they may be missing in their diet. The risk of age-related eye problems can also be reduced by wearing sunglasses and having regular eye examinations, at least every two years.
"The earlier any abnormalities are detected, the better the chance of treating them successfully," the Eyecare Trust said.
Stopping smoking and reducing the amount of alcohol you drink can also reduce the danger of future eye problems developing.
More information on good eye health is available at www.eye-care.org.uk.
Source URL: http://iccoventry.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0200nationalnews/tm_objectid=15172709&method=full&siteid=50003&headline=poor-diet-linked-to-eye-problems-name_page.html.
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