Unhealthy food could badly impact eyesight: Study

Unhealthy food, old age eyesight, red meat, fried foods, high-fat dairy. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock Images)

Keep an eye on what you eat, as a recent study has found a link between an unhealthy diet and vision loss at an older age. After researching for around two decades, results have shown that a diet rich in red meat, fried foods, high-fat dairy, processed meats and refined grains can badly impact eyesight. The study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, says there are links between a diet rich in unhealthy foods and age-related macular degeneration.

The condition that impacts the retina with age, blurs central vision that is required to see objects clearly and perform everyday activities such as reading and driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, around 1.8 million people aged 40 and above are living with AMD, and another 7.3 million have a condition called drusen, which usually precedes AMD.

Senior study author Dr Amy Millen, of the University at Buffalo in New York, told Medical News Today, "Most people understand that diet influences cardiovascular disease risk and obesity; however, I'm not sure the public thinks about whether or not diet influences one's risk of vision loss later in life. We wanted to examine how the overall pattern of one's diet may predict later development of AMD, both early-onset and late-stage disease. What we observed in this study was that people who had no AMD or early AMD at the start of our study, and reported frequently consuming unhealthful foods, were more likely to develop vision-threatening, late-stage disease approximately 18 years later."

The study looked at 66 different food types, which they later categorised into prudent, which included healthy food and western, which includes processed, red meat, fried stuff, etc. Although the researchers found no link between early AMD and dietary patterns, they found that the incidence of late AMD was three times higher among those with a Western diet pattern.