What we eat, directly impacts our health; even our eye health is affected by our diet. If the findings of a recent study are to be believed, poor eating habits can negatively impact our eyesight later in life. So, if you want to have sound vision in old age, inculcate healthy eating habits as early as possible. The study by University at Buffalo claims to have discovered that people eating more of processed foods, red meat, fried foods, refined grains and high-fat dairy may be three times more at risk of a age-related macular degeneration (AMD). And, the researchers blame it on the 'western dietary pattern' for developing late-stage AMD.
AMD is a serious eye condition that damages the retina and affects a person's central vision. It is said to be an irreversible condition and can hamper a person's routine activities like driving, writing etc.
Shruti Dighe, researcher at the University at Buffalo in the US said, "Treatment for late, neovascular AMD is invasive and expensive, and there is no treatment for geographic atrophy, the other form of late AMD that also causes vision loss. It is in our best interest to catch this condition early and prevent development of late AMD."
The team observed the development of early and late AMD over a period of around 18 years in the participants of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study which investigated the etiology and clinical outcomes of atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. The researchers collected data on 66 different foods that participants consumed between the years of 1987 and 1995.
Senior author of the study Amy Millen, Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo revealed, "What we observed in this study was that people who had no AMD or early AMD at the start of our study and reported frequently consuming unhealthy foods were more likely to develop vision-threatening, late stage disease approximately 18 years later,"
The findings of the study were published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.