Food is fuel for life. It provides us with the essential nutrients that are required to nourish our bodies. However, not all foods are beneficial to the body. Excessive consumption of certain foods causes an imbalance in the diet. This leads to a concentration or a deficiency of certain nutrients in the body. This can give rise to a number of diseases. In this article, we will discuss foods that cause retinal diseases.
The Retina is a thin tissue which lines the back of the eye. It contains cells that are sensitive to light. Whenever a light ray is projected onto the retina, the cells react to it and send nervous impulses to the brain. The brain deciphers these impulses so that we may perceive the image. The cells of the retina are known as photoreceptor cells. There are two types of photoreceptor cells – cone shaped cells and rod shaped cells. The con shaped cells are instrumental to perception of color and vision at times when there is enough ambient light. The rod shaped cells are incapable of perceiving colors and only support vision in dim lighting. Retinal diseases refer to all the diseases that affect the working of the retina. These diseases can be inherited genetically or can be acquired otherwise. Retinal diseases cause impairment in vision and may also lead to blindness.
Retinal diseases are often associated with a deficiency of certain essential dietary components. Below are a couple of retinal diseases which are common in humans:
Retinitis pigmentosa: This disease is often a part of the Usher syndrome. The Usher syndrome is conditions when a child suffers hear loss since birth. Retinitis pigmentosa affects the peripheral or the side vision. People suffering from the usher syndrome often have problems with balance. This condition is a result of genetic inheritance.
Age-related macular degeneration: This is a condition when there is an impairment of the macula. Macula is the central part of the retina which allows one to focus. It is responsible for forward vision and is necessary to perform activities such as reading or watching TV. Age related macular degeneration is of two types – dry and wet. A dry macula is a result of the degeneration of the cells of the macula while a wet macula is a result of bleeding of the macula. A wet macula is considered to be much worse than a dry macula as it can lead to severe damage in a very small amount of time.
In cats, retinal diseases are an effect of taurine deficiency. Cats cannot produce their own taurine and thus their diets need to be supplemented with it. If a cat is suffering from taurine deficiency, then its vision becomes blurred or blacked out. The cat becomes hesitant to move, especially in dark surroundings. Taurine deficiency is also associated with a heart disease known as cardiomyopathy. Providing the cats with taurine supplements generally helps to correct retinal diseases.
Tips and comments
Foods which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids have known to have a positive impact on retinal health. Carotenoids such as lutein, vitamins, antioxidants and fresh fruits and vegetables like spinach, berries and carrots are also effective in preventing retinal diseases.
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