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Oct
10

Eating Carrots will improve your eyesight

Fact - The notion that eating carrots improve eyesight sounds like a story your mother made up to get you to eat your vegetables. But is there any truth to it? According to Duke Ophthalmologist Jill Koury, MD, there is a connection between eating carrots and maintaining good eyesight. There’s nothing magical about the carrots alone -- it’s the vitamin A within the carrots that is so important for eye health. “Vitamin A in normal, recommended quantities is essential for the maintenance of good vision,” explains Dr Koury. If a person is deprived of vitamin A for too long, the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors begin to deteriorate, and the normal chemical processes involved in vision no longer occur. Restoring your Vitamin A intake will help restore your vision as well. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a carotenoid pigment which is an essential precursor for vitamin A. If you don’t get enough Vitamin A, you risk getting cataracts, macular degeneration and exophthalmia (A disease characterized by dry eyes, corneal ulcers and swollen eyelids). Deficiency in vitamin A also leads to blindness. Before you run to the store to stock up on bags of carrots, keep in mind that overdosing on carrots in an attempt to improve vision is unlikely to aid in your quest for better vision. In fact, eating too many carrots can cause your skin to appear yellow or yellow-orange due to a build-up of blood carotene levels.

We can safely say that eating carrots every day will not sharpen your eyesight beyond a certain measure and will definitely not restore the vision to 20/20, nor can it correct certain optical deformities such as astigmatism, diseases like glaucoma and conditions like strabismus. If you have weak eyesight, using prescribed glasses or contact lenses is recommended. That definitely doesn’t mean that carrots don’t make a healthy snack – eat it to satiate those hunger pangs between meals and pack it in the lunches for your kids. But don’t let them believe that they can ditch their glasses just because they will get superman-like vision just by eating carrots. When it comes to eating nutrient-rich foods to improve eyesight, more generally, Chew suggests stocking up on green, leafy vegetables. Spinach, kale or collard greens—all chock-full of lutein and zeaxanthin (which are other food-derived nutrients)—could help protect your eyes by filtering high-energy wavelengths of visible light that can damage the retina. Such foods may also help to protect against age-related macular degeneration, the major cause of blindness in the elderly.

There are no exercises, drops, or special dietary supplements to improve eyesight or protect against the development of sight-threatening conditions.

Some tips for protecting and maintaining good visions include:

  • Eat a balanced diet that provides the minimum daily requirements of essential nutrients and vitamins or take a multi-vitamin pill. This will ensure that you get the vitamin A you need to maintain normal vision.
  • Wear protective eyewear for sports, yard work, and all hazardous household or industrial activities. Many eye injuries that cause vision loss can be prevented by simply wearing protective eyewear.
  • Visit your eye doctor regularly to ensure that he or she can diagnose and treat any potential vision problems. School-age children should go annually, healthy adults without a family history of eye disease should go every two years. After age 50, you should go annually.

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