In This Issue: February 2022
- Dark Chocolate & Eyesight
- Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
- Meet Our General Ophthalmologists
Dark Chocolate & Eyesight
A study published in 2018 touted that eating dark chocolate (as opposed to milk chocolate) could improve certain aspects of your vision within 2 hours of consumption. Unfortunately, a year later researchers reported that this probably isn’t the case. Earlier reports suggested that the flavonoids (antioxidants) in
dark chocolate could improve visual clarity and contrast sensitivity while also reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The 2019 study was slightly smaller than the 2018 study (22 participants vs. 30, respectively), but after studying the results, researchers did not witness any vision benefits of dark chocolate.
February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Month, so we thought it was the perfect time to talk about chocolate – especially if you got a box of sweets for Valentine’s Day. AMD is a progressive disease that affects the macula, the center part of the retina (the back of the eye). Damage to this light-sensitive tissue can disrupt the electrical impulses that are sent to the brain via the optic nerve. This causes disruption to your vision. (Read the Symptoms article below.)
More research is needed to truly understand the vision benefits of dark chocolate. For now, it may be okay to consume dark chocolate in moderation (check with your doctor first), but think about incorporating other eye-friendly superfoods into your diet such as raspberries, eggs, oysters, oranges, carrots, almonds, salmon, kale and tomatoes!
Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
As mentioned above, February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Month. If you’ve noticed any changes in your central vision, you may be experiencing signs of AMD. This eye disease does not affect your peripheral (side) vision, but it can cause:
- Blurry vision
- Dark areas
- Distorted vision – straight lines or objects can appear wavy or crooked
Left untreated, AMD can lead to permanent loss of your central vision. If you’re experiencing changes in your eyesight, don’t ignore them! The earlier conditions are diagnosed, the more effective treatments will be. Contact us to schedule an eye exam.
Meet Our Doctors
At Shepherd Eye Center, we have a team of general ophthalmologists who can diagnose, monitor and treat conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, floaters and more. Click on the links below to learn more about these doctors: