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Eat carrots to improve your eyesight? Everyone knows it (except your optician)

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In fact, eating any of the coloured vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes and tomatoes, will help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which – as the name suggests – is a progressive sight problem as we get older.

Adding more coloured vegetables to our diet, or supplementing with beta-carotene and vitamin A supplements, can dramatically reduce the risk, as can stopping smoking.

But although it seems to be common knowledge, it’s something that opticians and ophthalmologists aren’t recommending to their patients, a new survey has discovered.

At best, just 40 per cent of optometrists are talking about dietary ways of reducing the risk, and it’s worse among ophthalmologists, with just 5 per cent recommending the lifestyle changes.

Age-related macular degeneration, where the eye’s retinal pigment is progressively destroyed, is a completely avoidable disease, say researchers from Malardalen University in Sweden. It’s established that beta-carotene – the pigmentation that makes vegetables tallow, orange or red – vitamin A, and lutein, from green leafy vegetables, dramatically reduces the risk – as can stopping smoking – but someone just has to tell the optician.

(Source: Clinical Optometry, 2017; 77: doi: 10.2147/OPTO.S129942)

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