Britain’s Blindness Cases Could Be Dramatically Reduced With Prevention Efforts

By 2020 there will be 2.45 million people in Britain living with blindness, according to Scotland on Sunday on July 29.

A sobering statistic indeed… particularly when considering that no less than 50% of these cases could be prevented if early intervention is pursued.

According to the article, one particular survey discovered that people, if given the chance to choose, would prefer to lose their sense of hearing and taste — not to mention a limb or even a decade of if their life — rather than lose their sense of seeing. Another survey showed, however, that few people are actually taking measures to safeguard their eye health. According to the article, 40% of respondents acknowledged that they had not been in to see an optician for 24 months or more. Furthermore, most respondents said that there was no reason to see an optician unless, first, they required spectacles or, second, they had worrisome symptoms.

The report cited Malcolm McPherson, from the College of Optometrists, as saying that many people believe there’s little that they can actually do to prevent the onset of  vision ailments such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). McPherson added that efforts to keep the body healthy will, quite naturally, help to keep the eyes healthy too.

According to the article, a good diet will go a long way towards ensuring optimal health. Vitamin A is something people should ensure is in their diet since this nutrient helps to keep the eyes healthy. This means eating things like carrots, liver, milk, eggs and cheese. Getting plenty of lutein is important as well. This means eating between two and four servings of leafy green produce such as kale, spinach and broccoli each day. Those who shudder at the thought of having to down so much produce can stake heart since they can get some of their lutein via supplements.

According to the article, the British Journal of Nutrition recently looked at zeaxanthin, which is believed to lower the odds of coming down with AMD and cataracts. It discovered that an algae known as spirulina, taken in powder form, provides lots of zeaxanthin.

According to the article, eye tests can help to detect early signs of eye issues. McPherson said in the article that people who experience distorted vision — an indication that the macula needs to be looked at — should see an optician as soon as possible.

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