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Fried foods can harm your eye health

Post on 18th August 2022

A tasty fry-up may be a tempting sight, but did you know it could be bad for your eyes?

At Scrivens, with over 80 years of experience as a leading opticians in the UK, we look at what foods can be bad for your eyes and what foods benefit eye heath.

Eating large quantities of fried food can put you at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, which is characterised by blurred vision.

Sight tends to get worse with age but you can hasten that decline with an unhealthy lifestyle.

A study from the University of Buffalo found that people who frequently consumed foods like red or processed meat, fried food, refined grains and high-fat dairy were more likely to lose vision due to age-related macular degeneration or AMD. The trans fats often found in fried food have been linked with the onset of the condition.

Food choices for better eye health include fruit and vegetables full of vitamin C such as citrus fruits, tomatoes and red peppers. Foods with lutein and zeaxanthin, like spinach, kale, and mustard greens, are also associated with a lower risk of AMD.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

AMD affects the middle part of your vision. It does not cause total blindness but it can make everyday activities like reading and recognising faces difficult. It usually first affects people in their 50s and 60s.

There are two types of AMD. Dry AMD, which is the less severe of the two, develops gradually over several years and is caused by the build-up of drusen, a fatty substance, in the back of the eyes. Wet AMD is the result of abnormal blood vessels in the back of the eyes and is less common. It can develop rapidly, so if you experience symptoms of AMD, you should visit your opticians as soon as possible.

Blurred vision

Of course AMD is not the only cause of blurred vision, which can affect only one eye or all of your sight. Blurred vision may come on suddenly or gradually and be due to a minor problem or something more serious. Most cases are treatable but it is important to find out what is the cause.

Causes range from eye strain to eye disease, short-sightedness to eye infections and migraines and long-term conditions like dry eye syndrome.

Occasional blurred vision at the end of the day is unlikely to be serious, but if you are worried speak to your optician. If your blurred vision is persistent you should make an appointment to see your optician as soon as possible.

If blurred vision comes on suddenly and you also experience symptoms such as intense eye pain, nausea or vomiting, seeing flashing lights, your eye is red or the area around your eye is tender or you suddenly lose some or all vision, you should seek help immediately at a hospital A&E.

To help look after your eye health, don’t forget to keep your regular appointments at your opticians.

If you have any concerns about your eyesight, please call in to your local Scrivens branch for friendly, professional advice.

If you found this blog helpful, you may also be interested in learning more about protecting your eyes from the sun damage.

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