Eye diseases are classified as civilization diseases. Problems of this kind are no longer the domain of older patients, but they affect virtually every age group, more and more often children and young adults. According to epidemiological studies, about 20 percent suffer from visual disturbances. children before the age of 14 and 60 percent population after 16 years of age. Therefore, the prevention of eye diseases is of particular importance nowadays. How to protect the organ of sight? What to do to avoid getting sick?
The prevention of eye diseases consists in eliminating or limiting modifiable risk factors, i.e. factors that contribute to the disease, but depend on us (e.g. lifestyle, eating habits).
The broadly understood prevention of eye diseases includes, among others:
Preventive measures aimed at the health and protection of the eye should be undertaken as early as possible.
Effective prevention of eye diseases includes protection against the harmful effects of oxidative stress. If the physiological (natural) balance between the generation and neutralization of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is disturbed, there is a risk of their overproduction.
An excess of ROS, which reacts with proteins, lipids and DNA, damages cell structures and initiates inflammatory processes. ROS can modify the chemical structure of compounds essential to the body for many physiological processes.
Chronic oxidative stress accelerates the aging processes of tissues and contributes to diseases and pathological conditions (such as inflammation, cancer, circulatory disorders, neurological disorders, diabetes). In their course, the organ of sight may be damaged (diabetic retinopathy, primary and secondary orbital tumors, obstruction of the retinal veins).
A diet for healthy eyes should therefore include a variety of antioxidant (antioxidant) compounds, including:
Correct vision depends to a large extent on photoreceptors, which are special light-sensitive receptors in the retina of the eye that absorb light. Omega-3 acids are found in the membranes of the outer segments of photoreceptors and support the renewal processes of these structures. If their supply is insufficient, these processes may be disturbed. Moreover, it has been proven that omega-3 fatty acids increase the survival of photoreceptors.
Research results indicate that omega-3 acids (especially DHA) limit the area of damage to the retina in the event of ischemia and hypoxia. Omega-3 acids regulate the concentration of cytokines which, in excess, promote the transition of the inflammatory reaction to the chronic phase, and promote atherosclerosis, cancer and autoimmune diseases.
Age-related macular degeneration is one of the most common causes of central vision loss; in the world, 25 million people suffer from it, in Poland - 1.2 million. The prognosis is not optimistic - the number of patients will triple over the next two decades.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) refers to the chronic, progressive disease of the central retina (the macula). The density of photoreceptors in the macula is particularly high - it is a small, but very specialized part of the retina that allows the so-called precise vision. Thanks to the inconspicuous speck, we can distinguish colors, faces, we read.
Its degeneration is most often associated with age, tissue aging processes and atherosclerotic changes that develop in tiny vessels that supply the retina with oxygen and nutrients.
According to the guidelines of the Polish Society of Ophthalmology (PTO), developed on the basis of the recommendations of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the prevention of macular degeneration includes in particular: