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World Sight Day- Everything you need to know about retina health

This is how you can take care of your retina. © Shutterstock

While diseases related to cornea like cataract are easily recognised, people fail to recognise retinal diseases like Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME).

Written by ANI |Published : October 12, 2018 6:47 AM IST

In today's fast-paced life, we tend to ignore our eye health. To ensure a healthy eyesight, it is important to regularly get your eyes examined and be able to recognise the symptoms of various eye diseases. Of the various retinal disorders, AMD and DME are two progressive diseases that cause loss of vision. AMD and DME can be effectively managed if patients are diagnosed in a timely manner. Therefore, it is important to understand the underlying symptoms associated with the diseases to identify the disease at an early stage.

Here are a few lifestyle factors that affect one's eyesight:

Smoking - Research has revealed that smoking doubles the risk of retinal diseases like age-related macular degeneration. It directly damages the eye by reducing the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream available in one's eyes. This results in oxidative stress which can damage the retina by causing cell death.

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Poor diet - Dietary habits have a huge role to play in one's health and well-being. Poor diet and lifestyle choices can also adversely affect one's eyesight. An overall balanced diet rich in pigments, found in green leafy vegetables, orange and yellow peppers is recommended as they contain carotenoids and antioxidants that keep the macula healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish is also considered beneficial for the eyes.

Sedentary lifestyle - Though physical activity did not directly influence the risk of AMD, lack of regular exercise leads to multiple health conditions that trigger the risk factors of AMD. Less physical movement along with constant exposure to digital screens makes it worse, increasing the chances of low eyesight and retinal diseases.

Ultraviolet rays- UV rays emitted by the sun can cause damage to the eyes. It is advisable to wear wide-brimmed hats that shade your eyes or sunglasses that have ultraviolet blocking lenses which can help protect your eyes from the ill-effects of the sun.

Dr. Ajay I Dudani, Ophthalmologist and Eye and Vitreoretinal Surgeon, Bombay Hospital & CEO of Mumbai Retina Centre said, "Out of the total number of patients who visit in a month, an estimated 30% patients suffer from AMD while around 40% are diagnosed with DME. Also, 50% of the patients with retinal disorders are already at an advanced stage of the disease."

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