By Jennifer

“Stress is killing you” is the name of new educational campaign by The American Institute of Stress. Many of us perceive depression, heart diseases and increased probability of stroke as the only possible consequences of increased levels of stress, however we tend to forget that stress and its combination with various lifestyle choices may cause other health complications including deterioration of vision.

If you have been diagnosed with any of the eye disorders or just started experiencing slight discomfort, you still have a chance of preventing advancement of these conditions by adjusting your lifestyle and adopting some new helpful habits.

According to Department of Health of New York State, “studies show that smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy and Dry Eye Syndrome”. If you are a smoker and have been experiencing vision degeneration or have been diagnosed with any of the conditions above, it is most definitely the right time to quit smoking.

Besides getting rid of the bad habits it is important to build some of the good ones: such as adapting a healthy diet, regular exercise and wearing sun glasses. You may also find that taking multivitamins and supplements rich in antioxidants helps maintain the health of your eyes. It is also recommended to slightly increase humidity in your home and office to protect your eyes from unnecessary dryness and irritation.

The importance of diet is often seriously underestimated when it comes to eye health. There are few major vitamins and micronutrients that protect and even enhance your vision. One of them is lutein, carotenoid vitamin that is found in spinach, kale, squash, kiwi and a few other vegetables and fruits. Lutein works like a natural sun light filter protecting macula and retina from damage by ultraviolet.

Other important support nutrients for your eyes are Omega-3 fatty acids contained in salmon and walnuts. According to one of the large-scale European studies, people who consume fatty fish on weekly bases “had half the risk of developing neovascular (“wet”) macular degeneration, compared with those who ate fish less than once per week.”

Another well-known eye aid is blueberries. Many of us have heard they are “good for your eyes” and very few of us know why. Blueberries are rich in essential antioxidants – Vitamin A, C and E. They protect eyes from damage by free radicals. Also high contents of Zink in blueberries helps eyes better adjust for night vision.

The good news are that all of the steps above are easy to implement. It does not matter whether you quit smoking 2 or 20 years in, or whether your blueberries are fresh or frozen. With either scenario, this steps will help you maintain your vision for longer.