Swap cigarettes for kale: How to continue seeing clearly as you age

Lynne Adkins
March 06, 2019 - 4:00 am
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A healthy diet could go a long way to protect your eyes as you age. 

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in people 60 and older, but there are steps you can take to keep your eyes healthy. 

According to Wills Eye Hospital retina surgeon Dr. Rick Kaiser, the first thing to do is quit smoking, because cigarettes are a large cause.

"I'm surprised many times at how I actually get the attention of my smoking patients when I talk to them about macular degeneration," he said. "The fear of going blind or losing their central vision sometimes scares them more than any of the other warning signs that they've been given by countless practitioners and physicians."

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A diet filled with antioxidants — green, leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, and omega-3 fatty fish — will help protect against vision loss. You can also buy supplements over-the-counter.

"You can supplement your diet with foods that have the same nutritional values that are in the vitamins," explained Kaiser. "Several times a week in your diet, those would be great adds to help stave off the disease."