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    Nutrition and lifestyle

    A healthy lifestyle has so many benefits for your eyes, and your overall wellbeing.

    Image of a woman holding two bunches of fresh spinach

    Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet high in antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients can help keep your eyes healthy.

    Studies show healthy eating and good nutrition are important to reduce the risk of AMD and slow its progression.

    The following advice can help keep your eyes healthy:

    • · eat a range of different coloured vegetables including dark green leafy vegetables and fruit daily
    • · eat fish high in omega-3 at least two to three times a week
    • · eat a handful of nuts a week
    • · limit your consumption of fats and oils, and use mainly extra virgin olive oil
    • · reduce or limit your alcohol intake.

    Studies have shown Mediterranean and Asian-style eating patterns can protect against AMD. This style of eating also helps protect against a range of other health problems, as well as being good for eye health.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are important to eye health. All fish and shellfish contain omega-3s but there’s more in oily varieties of fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, trout, herring, sardines, and tuna. Aim to eat fish or seafood (fresh, frozen or tinned) two or three times per week.

    Important antioxidants for eye health include lutein and zeaxanthin.

    These are present in high concentrations in a healthy macula and help to protect your eyes. These nutrients are found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and silverbeet, as well as other vegetables such as corn, yellow capsicum, peas, pumpkin and Brussels sprouts.

    Our publication ‘Nutrition for age-related macular degeneration’ contains some useful information about an eye healthy diet. Please consult your doctor before changing your diet.

    Download now or visit ‘Resources’ and we’ll send you a FREE copy in the mail.


    New Nutrition Guidelines for AMD

    Blood glucose levels

    If you’re living with diabetes, controlling your blood glucose levels will significantly reduce your long-term risk of vision loss. You can find out more about reducing your risk of diabetic eye disease in our free fact sheet.


    Reducing the risk of diabetic eye disease booklet

    Download now or visit 'Resources' and we'll send you a FREE copy in the mail.


    Not smoking

    Smoking is a risk factor for many diseases, including macular disease. 

    People who smoke are at a greater risk of developing AMD and diabetic eye disease.

    In fact, studies have shown that if you smoke, you increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration by a factor of three. Smokers also develop AMD around 10 years earlier than non smokers.

    They’re also at increased risk of vision loss.

    Smoking increases blood pressure and blood glucose levels, making it harder to control diabetes.

    It can also interfere with some medications used to treat macular conditions.

    It’s hard to stop, but with help and support, you can quit smoking. You’ll find more information on the Quit website.

    Sun protection

    The link between macular diseases and sunlight exposure is not strong but protecting the eyes from UV light is recommended.

    This also makes going outside more comfortable for people with macular conditions who are more sensitive to glare. You can protect your eyes by wearing a hat, sunglasses or lenses that automatically darken when you’re outdoors.


    Eye health checklist

    Download now or visit 'Resources' and we'll send you a FREE copy in the mail.


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