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There is growing evidence that antioxidants help prevent or delay the onset of the two main types of blindness in old age. Cataracts and macular degeneration in the European Union, nearly 800 people per 100,000 have problems view.

In the West, low vision usually due to two main conditions: cataracts and macular degeneration associated with age; both disorders are associated with diabetes mellitus, obesity and aging. Despite the vision problems do not endanger the lives of those who suffer, significantly limiting their independence, mobility and quality of life. The falls consist of a clouding of the lens, which is composed of water and protein and is normally transparent. The lens is located behind the iris, the colored part of the eye, light rays directed toward the macula and retina background. As cataracts develop, a portion of the proteins binds, causing clouding of the lens and prevents passing the light beams. In most cases, cataracts develop slowly, therefore, it will losing sight progressively. Fortunately, the treatment of cataracts is a relatively simple operation, in which the opaque crystalline lens is replaced with an injectable implant. Although the cause of cataract is still to be elucidated, this disorder appears to be related to the changes in the chemical composition of the crystal as a result of aging. In a period of normal development, cells of the body, including the eye, produce substances called free radicals. Over time, these free radicals can damage tissues and organs, so it is associated as one of the typical diseases of old age. The Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive disease and the leading cause of irreversible vision loss after age 65. Shows when tissue in the macula (area in the center of the retina) deteriorates. The macula, the size of a pinhead, is responsible for our central vision and most acute vision needed for reading, writing, driving in the dark and watch the colors. When this occurs degeneration, central vision blurred, straight lines appear wavy and difficult to differentiate colors. Since vision loss, gradual and painless, caused by macular degeneration is virtually incurable, it is essential to do everything possible to prevent it. The researchers have not figured out why this disorder occurs. Two of the major risk factors are advanced age and a family history of cases of that disease. Other factors that may increase risk are: -. The prolonged exposure to sunlight . – Low blood levels of antioxidants . – usually Smoking – Certain circulatory disorders such as high blood pressure. In both cases, oxidative degradation is important risk factor. They have more and more evidence that antioxidant nutrients, especially vitamins A, C and E and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, can help prevent or delay the onset of these types . of blindness in old age Care Eye To perform all such complex functions performed, the eye needs only a small amount of oxygen and some other substances found in food, how are you: – Vitamin A (Retinol). It is necessary for the formation of rhodopsin, the light-sensitive cells is retinal pigment. So is maintaining the conjunctiva (membrane covering the anterior pole of the eye) wet and in good condition. Its deficiency dry conjunctiva, which in severe cases causes the disease called xerophthalmia. In the retina, a particular form of vitamin A is the part of the visual pigments that collects light; in fact, a sign announcing that vitamin deficiency is the difficulty adapting to low light (night blindness). Foods that abounds: liver, dairy products, butter, eggs, fish and cod liver oil. – Carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin). Are natural dyes found in plants. Act as antioxidants and prevent macular degeneration of the retina. Recently, studies have been conducted on the pigments lutein and zeaxanthin are present in high concentrations in the retina. It is believed that high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the blood may protect the retina of certain wavelengths of light that are harmful. Foods which abounds: Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A (the organism converted into vitamin when needed) and abundant in carrots mainly and also squash, tomato, mango, peach, apricot, melon, cherries and orange). With 100 grams of carrots, one medium piece as betacarotene enough for our body to produce almost three times the vitamin A you need an adult each day is obtained. After all, it seems that the traditional advice to eat carrots galore to see better in the dark was founded. The lutein pigments and zeaxanthin are found in high concentrations in spinach, broccoli, corn and egg yolk. – Vitamins C and E are also antioxidants that are found almost exclusively in plants. Its deficiency is a risk factor for developing cataracts and vision loss. Foods which abounds: Vitamin C: Tropical fruits like papaya, pineapple, mango and kiwi, citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupe, vegetables from the cabbage family, including cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, green and red peppers, tomatoes. Vitamin E: Vegetable oils (olive and seeds: sunflower, corn, soy …) Nuts, seeds of cereals such as wheat, green leafy vegetables. As with other chronic diseases, prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration associated with age is related to a healthy and balanced diet. The advice to consume at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day is excellent, not just to have a healthy eye but also to prevent many other conditions. Also, be careful with the health of your eyes and wear sunglasses to protect from the harmful rays; monitor their blood pressure (increases the risk of degenerative conditions of the eye); do not smoke and get regular reviews of sight.

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