Feel fabulous over 50: Eye health
The good news is 75 per cent of eye diseases can be prevented or treated. Here's a few easy tips on looking after your eyes.
The four main conditions which cause vision loss are cataracts, retinopathy from diabetes, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD is the biggest cause of blindness in New Zealand. About 52,000 New Zealanders have early stage AMD, and another 24,000 late stage AMD, and 7000 are already blind in both eyes.
Action plan: How to maintain eye health
Don't smoke: Smokers are four times more likely to develop AMD.
Manage your diabetes: Control blood glucose levels with exercise and regularly spaced, nutritionally balanced, smaller-sized meals and snacks with lower-GI foods.
Control your blood pressure: Aim for a diet which is low in salt and includes at least five serves of vegetables, two serves of fruit and three serves of low-fat dairy each day.
Eat more omega-3 fats: Include foods which have omega-3 fats such as canola oil and spread, walnuts and linseeds, and especially the long-chain forms found in fish and seafood.
Eat more carotenoid antioxidants: These are found in bright green, orange and yellow vegetables and fruits such as spinach, silver beet, broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, capsicums, sweet corn, kiwifruit, mangos and melon.
Have check-ups: Test your eyes regularly to detect and treat problems early.