Healthy lifestyle can impact health of your eyes


The physicians of Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida have been recommending living a healthy lifestyle to our patients for decades. A healthy lifestyle includes exercise, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking. In general, what is good for your body is also good for your eyes.


According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a recent study has suggested that exercise may help to reduce the risk of cataracts (clouding of the natural lens of the eye) and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (deterioration of the sharp, central vision that can lead to permanent loss of central vision). Exercise is also beneficial for the health of your heart and blood vessels, including the blood vessels in your eyes. It can help to decrease the risk of disease such as high cholesterol and hypertension — both can have an impact on certain eye diseases.

Eating a diet low in fat and high in vitamins and minerals is a key for good eye health. Foods that are high in cholesterol and fat such as fried foods, butter, and full fat dairy products, can cause blood vessel diseases that are linked to certain eye diseases. It is important to eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats, fish, poultry, low or non-fat dairy, whole grains, and minimal sugar and salt.


Many studies have been done and are still ongoing to establish what vitamins are most important for eye health. Most people do not eat a balanced enough diet to receive all of the necessary vitamins, so supplementation may be necessary. Vitamin regimens should be discussed with your medical doctor, as some vitamins can have negative interactions or toxic effects. More is not necessarily better.


Smoking, first hand or second hand, can severely impact the health of the body and eyes. According to the American Heart Association, smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States.


Dr. Ashish Sharma is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in diseases of the retina and vitreous with Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida with offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Naples and Port Charlotte. The Fort Myers office is located at 6901 International Center Blvd. Call 239-939-4323 or visit


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