What is Myopia?
If you have vision problems, you are probably either nearsighted or farsighted. If you are nearsighted you have a condition called myopia. This means that close objects are seen easily and clearly, and objects that are further away are more challenging to see and see clearly. Myopia can occur if the cornea, or clear cover of the eye, is too curved, or if the eyeball is longer than usual. Both of these conditions make distant objects appear blurry because the light that enters the eye is not correctly focused. Myopia is more common in children of school age through about age 20, as the eyes continue to grow and develop. It can also develop in adulthood due to visual stress or health problems such as diabetes.
Nutrition and Eye Health
Nutrition is an important factor in tear production and the health of the macula of the eye. Consuming zinc, cooper, vitamins A, E, C and D can help to generally stabilize or improve eyesight. Omega-3 fatty acids are also vital to good eyesight and eye development.
The Hunter-Gatherer Diet
It is widely believed that eating the right foods can decrease your chance of developing myopia, or decrease its severity. Since industrialized societies have emerged, more and more people are having difficulty with their eyes in the form of myopia. It is hypothesized that in hunter-gatherer societies, individuals who were nearsighted had a lesser chance of survival, thus helping to eliminate the gene from the gene pool. Hunter-gatherer societies also ate mostly meat, tree nuts, fruits and vegetables. They did not eat extra salt, starches, potatoes, dairy products, cookies, cakes, soy products, peanuts, lentils, cashews, or fruit juices. They had no added sugar, except for the occasional consumption of honey. Since the 1970s industrialized societies such as the United States have been eating more sugars and carbohydrates that the human body was not meant to eat and process. In fact, 36 percent of the foods we eat are categorized as foods for which we have little genetic adaptation.
Nutrition, Obesity, and Myopia
As the incidence of obesity increases, so does the incidence of myopia. This has led many scientists, nutritionists, and doctors to believe that a hunter-gatherer diet is what humans should be eating. A diet such as this staves off obesity and also myopia. There have been no official studies or evidence to prove that eating the hunter-gatherer type diet will heal or completely prevent myopia, but there is enough historical data to cause some health professionals to encourage this type of diet. As we know that a diet low in refined sugars and carbohydrates, and high in fruit and vegetables can decrease obesity, there is no harm in eating such a diet. This type of diet will decrease the chance of other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease and it can potentially improve your eyesight.