vision loss

  1. Omega-3 fatty acid DHA can protect your vision

    How DHA can save your vision & your wallet

    New glasses... again???

    Seems like you only bought your current lenses last year... yet here you are at the eye doctor again, squinting at yet another big bill for yet another new set of lenses.

    But there may be an easy way to protect your eyes and help ensure that those lenses last a little longer this time, and that's with the same omega-3 fatty acids you should be getting anyway.

    In a new study, researchers found that mice fed the omega-3 fatty acid DHA -- one of the main fats in fish oil -- saw no increase in toxins in the retina, while those that didn't get fish oil saw the normal rise in toxins.

    As a result, the mice that got the fish oil managed to avoid some of the vision loss that usually comes naturally with aging.

    The researchers are now launching a second study, this time on humans, to see if DHA can help limit the damage of age-related macular degeneration. That's the leading cause of blindness in people over 50, and the research so far has been very encouraging.

    A 2010 study, for example, found that omega-3 fatty acids can cut the risk of the "wet" form of AMD by 35 percent, and the dry form by 32 percent.

    Omega-3s might help with other eye diseases as well. A Harvard study earlier this year found that just 200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids can delay blindness in patients with retinitis pigmentosa by up to 18 years.

    There's no drug that can do that -- just fish oil, so make sure you're getting in on this all-natural miracle.

  2. Eye disease linked to brain disorders

    Keep an eye on your eyes -- because your peepers just might be the first part of your body to spy dementia coming.

    That's especially true if your eyes are getting an up-close look at retinopathy, an eye condition that often leads to vision loss and even blindness.

    It's bad enough on its own, but now researchers say a new look at data on more than 500 women finds that dementia and retinopathy may come hand-in-hand -- or as close to hand-in-hand as brains and eyes can be, anyway.

    Researchers say women given annual memory and thinking tests for up to a decade were much more likely to flunk them if they had the eye disease -- and that was true even if they had the blood vessel damage in the retina that marks the condition, but didn't have any actual vision problems yet.

    Of course, that blood vessel damage isn't truly a disease all its own. Retinopathy is usually a warning of something else going on -- another condition that could be causing the same type of blood vessel damage in much less visible areas.

    Like the brain.

    And sure enough, brain scans of the women in the new study revealed that those who had the eye disease also had blood vessel damage inside the brain itself.

    Obviously, the answer here isn't just treating the eyes. It's finding and treating the underlying condition before it's too late. Or better yet, avoiding the condition in the first place -- and that means taking care of the rest of your body, because one of the leading causes of retinopathy is diabetes.

    In fact, the two conditions are so closely linked that diabetic retinopathy is now the leading cause of new blindness among middle-aged Americans -- and we know that diabetics are also more likely to suffer from dementia.

    You've heard of killing two birds with one stone, right? Avoid diabetes, and you'll likely avoid three diseases (or more) at the same time.

  3. The everyday pill that'll wreck your vision

    An aspirin a day won't do much for your heart, but it can do plenty for your eyes -- and not in a good way.
  4. Study: Vitamin supplements slash macular degeneration risk

    New research shows that a simple vitamin regimen can help you prevent age-related macular degeneration.

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