Health Advice



Say aye to healthy eyes

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

What do John Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Bono and Stephen King have in common? They all have contended with vision problems: Goodman with cataracts; Fitzgerald with diabetic retinopathy; Bono with glaucoma; and Stephen King with age-related macular degeneration.

These four conditions are the most common causes of serious vision problems in older Americans, but fortunately there are steps you can take that can help prevent or slow them and preserve your eyesight.

Cataracts: To keep sunlight from damaging your eyes' lenses, wear sunglasses that block out 99% to 100% of UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Glaucoma: Research from UCLA shows that 30 minutes of exercise a day lowers the risk of glaucoma by 73%!

Diabetic retinopathy: Harvard Health says normalizing your blood glucose levels can reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy by 75%.

Age-related macular degeneration: Taking 500 milligrams vitamin C; 400IU vitamin E; 10 milligrams lutein, 2 milligrams zeaxanthin, 80 milligrams zinc oxide and 2 milligrams copper (cupric oxide) may help prevent or slow progression of AMD -- when combined with a healthy, plant-based diet.


And, for overall eye health: 1. Make sure your diet contains dark, leafy greens like spinach and omega-3-rich salmon and flaxseed or take 900 milligrams of DHA supplements daily. 2. See an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive dilated eye exam annually. 3. Maintain a healthy weight -- being overweight increases your risk for systemic conditions like diabetes that may lead to retinopathy and glaucoma. 4. Don't smoke or vape. Research shows that smoking and vaping increases your risk of AMD and cataracts -- plus optic nerve damage.


Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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