How important is eye nutrition during Covid?

New Delhi – When Covid-19 wreaked havoc around the world, professionals and students switched to remote working and learning, leading to increased reliance on different screens, leading to multiple eye problems.

Proper nutrition for the eye is therefore essential, health experts said on Tuesday.

The most common eye problems reported by children and professionals during the pandemic include eye fatigue, dry and irritated eyes, blurred vision, and myopia.

This is made worse by low physical activity, irregular eating habits, frequent snacking, and poor food quality during the pandemic.

“Every day we encounter twenty to thirty patients who come to us with eye problems. However, the right diet can support eye function, protect the eye from harmful light and prevent age-related degenerative diseases, ”said Dr. Vineet Sehgal, a senior consultant at Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals, said.

In addition, Covid-19, which is primarily a respiratory disease and is known to affect the lungs, also causes mild to severe eye problems.

Some patients may develop conjunctivitis, irritated eyes, sensitivity to light, and eye discomfort that may last more than two weeks.

“People with severe Covid-19 infection are at high risk for eye abnormalities such as vascular occlusion,” said Sehgal.

Long-term use of steroids also increases the risk of mucormycosis – a serious consequence that occurs in Covid patients, especially those who are diabetic or immunocompromised.

An infection of the nose and sinuses that spreads to the orbit can cause vision loss or even death if not treated promptly.

Long Covid also affects the eyes in people who report the most common symptom – conjunctivitis.

“Conjunctivitis can be treated with medication, but in certain cases the retina and retinal vessels are damaged, resulting in long-term vision loss. This retinal vein blockage not only causes significant vision loss, but takes a long time to heal, ”Sehgal said.

A diet high in seasonal fruits and vegetables that provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can improve eye health.

“Consumption of minerals like lutein and zeaxanthin as well as vitamins C, E and zinc has been linked to a reduced risk of serious eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration,” said Nabanita Saha, chief clinical dietician, Manipal Hospitals, Bengaluru, said.

“The nutritional needs for eye health are complicated, but some nutrients like green leafy vegetables, fruits, and nuts are very important. Exercise, combined with a healthy diet, has been shown to help prevent eye diseases, ”she added.

In addition, if a patient recovering from Covid experiences symptoms such as nasal congestion, swelling around the eyes or nose, blurred vision, double vision, or pain around the eyes / nose, they should see an ophthalmologist immediately, experts suggested.