Wed, May 22, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Doctor suggests lutein to protect women’s eyes

By Liao Hsieh-ju and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An ophthalmologist has advised pregnant women to consume a sufficient daily amount of lutein to protect their eyes.

As nutrients are transferred to the fetus, the mother could develop omega-3 and lutein deficiencies, which could leave the retina malnourished and cause the mother to become more susceptible to visual acuity loss or macular bleeding, China Medical University Hsinchu Hospital director of ophthalmology Chen Ying-shan (陳瑩山) said.

Such risks could be aggravated by severe myopia or excessive use of blue light-emitting devices, he said.

Abnormal light sensitivity, eye fatigue and blurry vision are early warning signs to reduce screen time and eat more foods that improve eye health, he added.

Fish and flaxseed oils are excellent sources of omega-3, while a bowl of spinach is deemed to contain the sufficient daily amount of lutein, Chen said.

Doctors also recommend that pregnant women eat an egg per day, as they contain lutein and substances that facilitate absorption, such as calcium and zinc, he said.

Women over 40 are more likely to develop glaucoma due to falling estrogen levels associated with menopause, making the visual nerves less resilient, he added.

People with high ocular pressure should use atropine eye drops and eat more foods that contain omega-3, as well as fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins A, C and E, Chen said.

This diet could also ameliorate dry eyes, a condition that occurs more frequently among menopausal and post-menopausal women than men, he said.

Leaving a tray of water in an air-conditioned room, applying a hot compress and reducing screen time could also improve dry eyes, he added.

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