Diet change could save eyesight

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness among the elderly. AMD costs Australians an estimated 750 million annually and severely affects quality of life.

According to The Australian National Eye Health Survey, 14.8 per cent of non-Indigenous participants aged between 40 and 92 showed early signs of AMD and 10.5 per cent signs of intermediate AMD. Among Indigenous Australians aged 40, 13.8 per cent had early AMD and 5.7 per cent intermediate AMD. 

A study by the University of Buffalo (UB), published by the British Journal of Ophthalmology, found that eating certain foods associated with a Western diet could triple your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.

Red meat, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, refined grains and fried foods were all linked to the condition.

The study’s senior author, associate professor and associate chair of the UB Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, Amy Millen, says: “Our work provides additional evidence that diet matters.”

Early AMD has no symptoms, so it is hard to know if you are at risk. Prof. Millen suggests that cutting back on processed Western foods may be an important factor in decreasing your risk of AMD, which can lead to irreversible eye damage.

Would you give up fried foods and steak to save your eyesight?

Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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