Uveitis is a serious condition for which one must seek medical care. That said, in addition to following a treatment plan, lifestyle choices have a impact on overall health, not to mention eye health and vision. The goal is to keep inflammation and immune response under control.
There are numerous versions of the “anti-inflammatory diet” out there. Most cut out added sugar, unhealthy fats, simple starches, and grains, and limit red meat and dairy. Everyone needs to find out what works for their specific body but cutting out “inflammatory foods” typically doesn’t hurt.
Instead of focusing on what not to eat while cutting the inflammatory foods, it’s often helpful to determine which foods to include in diet (i.e. food as medicine).
- Arthritis Foundation Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- Dr. Weil Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- The Anti-Inflammatory Diet: How to Reduce Inflammation Naturally
The current daily recommendations for healthy eye nutrients, as suggested by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) to slow the progression of eye disease, are:
- 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
- 400 international units of vitamin E
- 10 mg lutein
- 2 mg zeaxanthin
- 80 mg of zinc oxide
- 2 mg of copper oxide
Turmeric, fish oil, or algae oil (healthy Omega-3 fatty acids), pre-biotics, and pro-biotics are other substances known for anti-inflammatory power to research and discuss with your doctor. Links to studies can be found on the Research page.
Although previous studies have come to varied conclusions, a recent study in the Journal of American Medical Association Ophthalmology correlates higher stress (via perceived stress and cortisol levels) with active uveitis.
Ideas for stress reduction include exercise, meditation, journaling, getting outside, watching a funny movie, hugging a loved one, coloring or art, listening to or making music, partaking in a hobby, taking a bath, or anything that brings joy and leaves worries behind.
Sunglasses and Eye Protection
Wear sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection whenever outside. Choose amber-colored lenses to neutralize blue light. Wear goggles in pools and hot tubs. Use eye protection when completing tasks that might endanger the eyes!