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Dec 2013
Some good news

Most of us forget diets over Christmas and over-indulge, however, there is a little bit of good news from one of the UK’s leading eye surgeons. A glass of red wine could actually be of benefit for your vision and help prevent eye problems. What’s more if you include some curly Kale to your meals over Christmas you could be reducing your chances of suffering eye problems now, keep it up and into the future too!

Mr Milind Pande, is consultant ophthalmologist at Vision Surgery in East Yorkshire and also part of European vision advisory groups, he said: "Resveratrol is a plant polyphenol found in red wine and grapes and it is this compound that is suggested by some to be helpful in the fight against age related macular degeneration. It is thought that resveratrol stops out-of-control blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) in the eye and this means resveratrol could help to preserve vision in age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the UK and in cases of diabetic retinopathy, which can cause vision loss in people with diabetes.

"Certain foods are also excellent for the eyes and can also help reduce the risk of developing macular degeneraton so if you can incorporate these into your Christmas dinner, you will be helping your eyes. Leafy greens such as kale, broccoli and spinach are full of lutein, which is thought to prevent damage to the macula of the eye, the part needed for tasks like reading and driving. A diet, rich in vitamins A, C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin and essential fatty acids may also help protect against eye disease and these can be found in brightly coloured fruit and veg such as corn, orange peppers, tangerines and oranges."

Mr Pande also mentions other foods that can be just as helpful for maintaining healthy vision: "Oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are also thought to help decrease the risk of developing AMD (Age-related macular degeneration) and may slow down its progression. Most people don't realise that what we eat and drink may affect the health of our eyes but our intake has a very profound effect on our vision now and in later life. There are also nutritional supplements available which combines many of the aforementioned nutrients, which may help to protect your eyes and can counter the effects of ageing on your eyes."

The health benefits of diet and supplements are usually highlighted in relation to other parts of our bodies and our eyes are often overlooked yet provide a key sense we should cherish.

There is a range of supplements and medicines designed to help with most aspects of eye health available at your local pharmacy where you can always call in for advice. It is also important you have a regular eye test at your local opticians.

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