On Eye Health Day, discover foods that are good for your eyes

In Brazil, it is estimated that more than 35 million people have vision problems. This Sunday (10th) Eye Health Day promotes vision care awareness.

Research by Datafolha shows that a quarter of Brazilians do not see an eye doctor. The Brazilian Society of Ophthalmology (SBO) recommends an eye examination in childhood and another in adulthood, between the ages of 30 and 40. From the age of 40, the recommendation is for an annual exam. People with family members who have eye disease should have regular examinations.

in consultation with experts CNN: explain the main mistakes people make that can damage the eyes and recommend foods that are good for eye health.

What to include in a healthy diet for the eyes?

“Carrots, or rather beta-carotene in carrots, is good for the eyes. And if the carrots are organic, even better. It is important to eat different colored foods. The more colors, the greater the variety of vitamins and minerals and the more benefits for eye health,” says nutritionist Vivian de Castro Teixeira Alvarenga.

Vitamins A, E and C found in purple, red and orange foods such as açai, jabuticaba, pumpkin and papaya are among the vitamins recommended for good vision. They are antioxidants and fight free radicals and eye aging.

According to experts, foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are also antioxidants. They are found primarily in yellow, orange, red, and green vegetables, including nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, peas, corn, and arugula.

The list of minerals includes zinc, magnesium and copper.

Ophthalmologist Emerson Fernández de Sosa de Castro, of the Sírio-Libanês Hospital in São Paulo, explains that omega 3 promotes lubrication and helps fight dry eye syndrome. Raw garlic is beneficial in glaucoma, effectively reducing eye and body pressure by having a vasodilating effect.

“Omega-3s, found in oily fish like sardines, salmon and tuna, for example, protect the eyes, and a lack of these types of food can damage the eyes,” says Castro.

The main mistakes that can harm the health of the eyes

Scratching your eyes, sleeping with makeup on, wearing non-prescription glasses or contact lenses, and eye drops are some of the top mistakes made that can compromise your eye health.

“It is very important for eye health to have an appointment with an ophthalmologist at least once a year. It is wrong to wear glasses of questionable origin, especially sunglasses bought from street vendors. Rubbing and scratching the eyes is a habit that can lead to the development of a disease called keratoconus, in which the cornea is deformed and often has the shape of a cone,” warns ophthalmologist Gustavo Bonfadini.

The specialist warns that the excessive use of screens, computers and mobile phones throughout the day and without breaks can cause problems for the health of the eyes. “This exposure leads to fatigue in the inner eye muscles, and at the end of the day this person will have several symptoms of visual fatigue, irritated and even inflamed eyes,” he explains.

To reduce the problem, ophthalmologist Sergio Fernandez, a member of the Brazilian Society of Ophthalmology, recommends that people take at least five-minute breaks from the computer every one to two hours.

“Remedies to combat dryness caused by overuse of screens include teaching the body to blink to lubricate the eyes. Lubricating eye drops can also be used two to four times a day,” he said.

The Brazilian Society of Ophthalmology also recommends that activities on computers, mobile phones and tablets lasting more than four hours should be interrupted for longer breaks to avoid visual discomfort.

The ophthalmologist of Sírio-Libanês advises the careful use of eye drops sold in pharmacies. “It is dangerous to use eye drops without clear medical instructions. Lubricant eye drops, also called artificial tears, can be used as desired,” he explains.

Eye allergy care

Eye allergies can cause symptoms such as itchy eyes and watery eyes that affect quality of life. Although symptoms are often mild, allergies can be confused with other conditions such as asthma and atopic dermatitis.

Persistence and lack of proper care can lead to complications such as eye ulcers, corneal keratitis, keratoconus, and even permanent visual impairment.

Dr. Elizabeth Mercer Moura, coordinator of the Ocular Allergy Department of the Brazilian Association of Allergy and Immunology (ASBAI), explains that eye symptoms can affect patients’ mental, functional, physical and social status.

“Children and adolescents experience a decline in school work, restrictions on sports, leisure and social activities. Adolescents can still suffer from low self-esteem and exhibit emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety,” she says.

A dry eye sensation may be associated with eye allergies, especially in adults. The diagnosis of ocular allergy is clinical, based on the presentation of symptoms due to exposure to allergens such as mites, pollen, and pet dander.

The doctor explains that intense photophobia and eye pain are warning signs that indicate the need for specialized care.

Treatment for eye allergies includes environmental control measures such as keeping dust free and changing bedding regularly. For patients who still have symptoms, the use of eye drops and stabilizers may be indicated.

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