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

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)