Your Diet Can Keep Your Eyes Healthy And Prevent Vision Problems

A Healthy Diet In Nutrient Rich Foods Can Help Protect Your Eyes

A Healthy Diet In Nutrient Rich Foods Can Help Protect Your Eyes

Source: The Star Online
By Live-Well Nutraceuticals

Feeding the eyes

The important role diet can play in preventing vision problems.

WE all know that carrots are good for sight. Our mums drummed that into us when we were growing up; we’re probably still drumming this fact to our kids or grandkids.

What exactly is in carrots or spinach that is good for our eyesight? What other foods are good for the eyes?

In 2009, a study published in Opthamology found that proper diet, especially a low glycaemic index diet, can be very helpful in preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other sight-robbing diseases. The nutrients that have been found to be most protective are lutein, zeaxanthin, beta carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc, and the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

Some of the foods that are known to foster good eyesight and eye health include:

Spinach, kale and green leafy vegetables – These foods are rich in carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein, a yellow pigment, protects the macula from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only two primary plant pigments contained within the macula and retina of the eye.

Eggs – Eggs are rich in sulphur, cysteine, lecithin, amino acids and lutein. Sulphur-containing compounds protect the lens of the eye from cataract formation. Sulphur is also necessary for the production of glutathione, an important antioxidant for the lens of the eye and the whole body.

Cold water fish (sardines, cod, mackerel, tuna) – These are excellent sources of DHA, a compound which provides structural support to cell membranes and is recommended for dry eyes. DHA is also used as a treatment for macular degeneration and for sight preservation.

Carrots – Carrots are rich in beta carotene. Beta carotene is a provitamin A carotenoid that is converted to retinol (vitamin A) by the body after the food is ingested. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that protects the eyes from free radicals and also helps the surface of the eye, mucous membranes and skin be effective barriers to bacteria and viruses, reducing the risk of eye infections, respiratory problems and other infectious diseases.

Blueberries, blackberries, bilberries – These are high in flavonoids and contain anthocyanins, which help improve night vision.

Nuts – They are excellent sources of vitamin E and minerals such as zinc that help keep your eyes healthy and may decrease your risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Lutein and zeaxanthin declines with age

Like many other important nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin are not manufactured in the body. The only way to consume it is by eating food rich in these antioxidants or by supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin.

Unfortunately, as we age, the concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin in the eyes decline. Increasing one’s dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin increases the density in the macula.

Lutein and zeaxanthin belong to the xanthophyll family of carotenoids and are the two major components of the macular pigment of the retina. The macula lutea or “yellow spot” in the retina is responsible for central vision and visual acuity.

Of the more than 600 plant pigments called carotenoids found in nature, lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the macula, retina and lens of the human eye, and have dual functions in these tissues – to act as powerful antioxidants and to filter high-energy blue light.

Lutein and zeaxanthin offer protection against the two most common causes of vision loss: cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In addition to its role in preventing cataracts, lutein and zeaxanthin may improve vision in people who already have cataracts.

Lutein is found in high amounts in human serum. In the diet, it is found in highest concentrations in dark green, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collard greens, and others), corn, and egg yolks. Zeaxanthin is the major carotenoid found in corn, orange peppers, oranges, and tangerines.

Zeaxanthin is the dominant component in the centre of the macula, while lutein dominates at the outer edges. The eye is selective and preferentially places dietary zeaxanthin in the very centre of the macula, the most critical area for central vision with the greatest need for protection.

Concentrated in the lenses and retina, these two carotenoids fulfil two essential functions:

·Protect the eyes from damaging UV light by acting as a filter to shield against harmful blue light.

·Act as antioxidants to protect the lenses, retina and macula against free radical damage due to exposure to sunrays, computer screens and other harmful form of lights.

Both lutein and zeaxanthin absorb the very high-energy and most damaging portions of the light spectrum (ultraviolet blue). The absorption of the high-energy light spectrum is critical for the protection of the lens, retina and macula portions of the eye. High-energy blue light also generates “free radicals” that cause damage to the tissues of the eye.

Read the full article here on The Star Online.

Eating a healthy diet concentrated in nutrient rich foods, like mentioned above, will go a long way in protecting your eye health. PresbyopiaCataracts, and Age Related Macular Degeneration are common results to your eyes as you age. They cannot be prevented by eating these foods, but they can be affected. If you have more questions about your diet and how it impacts your eyes or what other options are available to you, contact Gordy EyeCare today.

image credit: mhaller1979 on flickr

Sunglasses - Do You Buy Cheap or Expensive Ones? UV Protection Is The Most Important Feature

Cheap or Expensive - Sunglasses must provide UV Protection

Cheap or Expensive - Sunglasses must provide UV Protection


Splurge Or Save On Sunglasses?

Sunglasses can cost $1 to several hundred dollars, but the ones that cost more don’t necessarily protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation more than the others.

KPRC Local 2 tested several dozen pairs of cheap and pricey sunglasses at the University of Houston College of Optometry.

“The glasses tested a little better than I would have expected,” said Dr. Jan Bergmanson, professor at the UH College of Optometry. “It was not a scientific survey, but all of the glasses we tested provided UV protection. Some a little better than others, but they were all credible UV protectors.”

Bergmanson is a glaucoma specialist and has researched the amount of UV radiation it takes to cause damage to the eye. He said the best way to protect your eyes from UV radiation, and the possibility of damage, is to wear wraparound sunglasses or UV-blocking contact lenses.

“Nine days out of 10 in summertime we have radiation levels that are considered dangerous. There are high radiation levels all year round, but particularly this time of year, everyone needs some sort of protection,” said Bergmanson. “Most prescription glasses already have UV protection. The color of lens or darkness of lens has nothing to do with UV absorption.”

He added it is important for children to start wearing UV protective glasses when they are as young as 5 years old.

Bergmanson said he is working to try to get a standard protection factor number required on sunglasses, similar to the way sunscreens are rated. He said he believes that a standard system would make it easier for consumers and health care professionals to understand the UV protection offered by each pair of glasses.

Read the full article here on

Sunglasses can be tricky to shop for. You want to find stylish frames, you want quality protection, you want quality construction, but you don’t want to spend a ton of money. If your not sure about which sunglasses will be right for you, contact Gordy EyeCare for an appointment and we will find the right ones for you.

Summer is Here - Do You Know How to Protect Your Eyes?

UV Rays are as bad for your eyes as they are for your skin

UV Rays are as bad for your eyes as they are for your skin

Fourth of July weekend is here! With it comes all the outdoor activities of Summer and some of the risks as well. We all know of the dangers of UV Rays on your skin, but are you aware of the effects on your eyes? Exposure to the sun can have come long lasting consequences to your eye health and you can go a long way to eye health with the proper sunglasses.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology offers these tips to protect your eyes from the sun:

  • Don’t focus on color or darkness of sunglass lenses: Select sunglasses that block UV rays. Don’t be deceived by color or cost. The ability to block UV light is not dependent on the price tag or how dark the sunglass lenses are.
  • Check for 100 percent UV protection: Make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV-A rays and UV-B rays.
  • Choose wrap-around styles: Ideally, your sunglasses should wrap all the way around to your temples, so the sun’s rays can’t enter from the side.
  • Wear a hat: In addition to your sunglasses, wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect your eyes.
  • Don’t rely on contact lenses: Even if you wear contact lenses with UV protection, remember your sunglasses.
  • Don’t be fooled by clouds: The sun’s rays can pass through haze and thin clouds. Sun damage to eyes can occur anytime during the year, not just in the summertime.
  • Protect your eyes during peak sun times: Sunglasses should be worn whenever outside, and it’s especially important to wear sunglasses in the early afternoon and at higher altitudes, where UV light is more intense.
  • Never look directly at the sun. Looking directly at the sun at any time, including during an eclipse, can lead to solar retinopathy, damage to the eye’s retina from solar radiation.
  • Don’t forget the kids: Everyone is at risk, including children. Protect their eyes with hats and sunglasses. In addition, try to keep children out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.

If you follow these simple tips you will be able to safely protect your eyes from harmful UV Rays. If you would like to know information or what sunglasses would work best for you, contact Gordy EyeCare today.

Gordy EyeCare would like to take a moment and wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July! We are thankful for this great nation and all who protect it! Be Safe.

image credit: bartb_pt on flickr

You Protect Your Skin from UV Rays - Do you protect your eyes?

Do you protect your eyes from UV Rays?

Do you protect your eyes from UV Rays?

Although there’s considerable public awareness about UV light’s ability to burn and age the skin, awareness of its effect on the eyes has “fallen in the shadows,” says optometry professor Jan Bergmanson of the University of Houston College of Optometry, founding director of the Texas Eye Research and Technology Center. A 2009 survey by the American Optometric Association found that one in three adults is unaware of the eye-health risks of spending too much time in the sun without proper protection. Just 29 percent of parents say they make sure their children wear sunglasses while outdoors.

The sun can be just as harmful to your eyes as it can be to your skin. Cumulative exposure to the UV rays can contribute to some serious and lasting damage to your eyes and your vision. Some possible consequences are:

Cataracts: A clouding of the eye’s lens that can blur vision. It afflicts one in six Americans over 40 and more than half over 80, about 20 million people. An estimated 20 percent of cases are caused by extended UV exposure.

Macular degeneration: Resulting from damage to the retina that destroys sharp, central vision. It is the leading cause of blindness in the USA.

Pterygium: A tissue growth over the white part of the surface of the eye that can alter the curve of the eyeball, causing astigmatism. If the pterygium starts to grow over the cornea, it can blur or obstruct vision and may need to be removed.

It is not exactly known as to how much sun exposure is needed to damage your eyes, as each person is different, but the increasing UV health related issues are a concern. If you are concerned about the amount of sun exposure you receive, contact Gordy EyeCare today to set an appointment.

image credit: Marcus Vegas on flickr

Baush + Lomb 40 Years Later - Still atop the Optometry Industry

Baush + Lomb continue to impress at the AOA Conference

Bausch + Lomb continue to impress at the AOA Conference

Bausch + Lomb is at the American Optometric Association’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah this week, and they are still head lining the event with new products. Forty years after they introduced soft contacts to the world, they are bringing some revolutionary innovations to the AOA.

The company will look to debut some of the following innovations this week:

  • Biotrue, a bio-inspired contact lens solution that works like the eyes to help lenses stay clean and moist throughout the day. A recent study indicated Biotrue could keep lenses moist for 20 hours. Biotrue brings together three key innovations: a lubricant called hyaluronan (HA) found naturally in the eyes, matches the pH of healthy tears, and keeps certain beneficial tear proteins active. Introduced one year ago this month, Biotrue has been the fastest-growing lens care product ever.
  • PureVision® 2 HD contact lenses with precision optics are designed for clear, crisp vision in low-light and help reduce halos and glare. These lenses are some of the thinnest on the market today, which allow for gentle lens/lid interaction and comfortable lens wear.
  • Ocuvite® 50+, an eye vitamin supplement developed to help replace essential nutrients which the eyes lose as one ages. Ocuvite contains three important nutrients, Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Omega 3 which are key to maintaining eye health.
  • Retisert®, the world’s first intravitreal drug implant for the treatment of chronic non-infectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye. Uveitis is one of the leading causes of blindness for middle-aged people in the Western world.
  • Alaway®, an eye drop designed to provide fast-acting relief to the eyes from itchiness caused by pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair and dander.

Bausch + Lomb continue to be industry leaders in contact lenses and lens care products, ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments, and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. They continue to be a pioneer in the field of vision, even after being in business for over a 150 years.

If you have any questions on how these products or if they may be right for you, contact Gordy EyeCare today.

image credit: Lee J Haywood on flickr

Dry eye can’t necessarily be cured, but it can be treated

Your eye doctor can help you live with dry eye

Your eye doctor can help you live with dry eye

Dry eye disease is common and can develop for many reasons. Usually, the condition is chronic and cannot be cured. Instead, treatment for dry eyes focuses on relieving symptoms. Dry eye is when the front surface of your eye does not get covered with the right layer of tears and the perfect mixture of oils and water of those tears. If any of these are off, dry eye disease can develop.

Symptoms of dry eye disease may include a stinging, itchy or burning sensation in your eye, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and mucus in or around your eye. As you’ve experienced, excess tearing can also be a symptom. Normally, tears are produced very slowly. But if that process fails to make enough tears, a different tear production system may be activated. And, unfortunately, this reflex mechanism usually produces too many tears.

Treatment can be done with several techniques, including artificial tears or even medication such as cyclosporine (Restasis). Sometimes antibiotics may even be used to reduce inflammation that can lead to oil production problems. But before you begin treatment, check with you doctor as some medications you may currently be on could be causing dry eye as a side effect.

Work with your eye care provider to find the appropriate dry eye treatment. These therapies won’t cure dry eyes, but they should help reduce symptoms enough so you can be comfortable and function normally in your daily activities.

For information on dry eye disease and treatment, contact Gordy EyeCare today.

image credit: neuroticcamel on flickr

Do it yourself eyeglasses - Vision correction may be in your hands

Self Adjusting Eyeglasses are the future

Self Adjusting Eyeglasses are the future

An estimated 670 million people around the world lack access to vision correction and over 100 million children don’t have access to basic eyecare. That number can only be anticipated to grow due to economic conditions, but perhaps in the near future we may have a solution to vision correction.

Oxford University atomic physicist Josh Silver is working on a break through in low-cost, self adjustable lenses, that people could personally adjust without the need of an optometrist. Silver first came upon this project back in 1995 and has steadily made advancements. Today, the lenses are made of two film membranes that are separated by a silicone gel, and can be adjusted by adding or removing liquid with a syringe type tool. The amount of fluid affects the curvature of the lens and the amount of vision correction.

Currently the cost of these lenses are set $19 a pair but Silver hopes to be able to eventually provide the glasses for $1 a pair.

For more information on vision correction with eyeglasses, contact Gordy EyeCare today.

image credit: Muffet on flickr

Video game has medical purpose

Vision disease testing has a new ally

Vision disease testing has a new ally

Wait a minute parents, could this be? Could there really be a video game out there that actually serves a purpose other than entertainment? Well apparently the answer is, yes there is.

Tariq Aslam, a consultant at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and senior lecturer at the University of Manchester, realized that it was difficult to get children to have a proper eye exam in test for problems such as glaucoma, drug side effects, and other conditions. They could not sit still or respond correctly to get an accurate testing and therefore were being wrongly diagnosed and improperly treated.

He realized that the ideal way to overcome a short attention span and lack of cooperation was to get children involved in playing a computer game, which would automatically measure their peripheral vision depending on exactly how they played.

So far the 17 children age 4 to 14 have participated in the test and early feedback has been positive. Aslam is optimistic for the future and the ability to get this testing to developing countries and the equipment is inexpensive.

For more information on disease testing for children, contact Gordy EyeCare today.

image credit: meddygarnet on flickr

Macular Edema, Alimera’s “Iluvien” a Diabetes treatment on the horizon?

Alimera Sciences Inc., which specializes in drug treatments for the eyes, said Friday it filed a new request for marketing approval of its drug candidate “Iluvien”, designed to treat an eye disease that affects diabetes patients.

Iluvien is designed to treat diabetic macular edema, which is the thickening of the retina near the macular center, and if left untreated can lead to loss of vision and other symptoms in patients with diabetes.

The FDA rejected Alimera’s application in December of 2010, stating it wanted more data on clinical trials. The refilling this week included an additional year of data.

For more information on vision concerns in patients with diabetes contact Gordy EyeCare today.

image credit: Neuroticcamel on flickr

The Truth on Contact Lenses for Children

contact lensesMany parents struggle with decision of when is the right time to allow your children to switch from glasses to contact lenses.  The old rule of thumb was to wait until the child was a teenager before allowing them to wear contacts when their eyes will be more capable of adjustment. But a new study might be changing that thought.

In an article published last week, on PR Newswire, a study, funded by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, was done to compare the long term ability to wear contact lenses based on whether you were fitted for the lenses as a child or a teenager.

A total of 175 soft contact lens wearers ages 17 to 30 years who wore lenses for the past ten years participated in this online survey, which compared the self-reported comfort, adverse events, and compliance of patients who were fitted in contact lenses as a child (ages 12 years and younger) to that of patients fitted as teenagers (ages 13 to 19 years).  Of those surveyed, 49 percent were fitted as a child and 51 percent were fitted as a teenager.

Nearly 25 percent of both child fits and teen fits were able to wear contact lenses for as many hours as they wanted.  In addition both child fits and teen fits wore their lenses for more than 14 hours per day (14.8 vs. 14.7), of which more than 13 hours were comfortable.

Even with this new study it is best to still consult your family optometrist if your child is ready to make a switch, as each individual child’s case is different.

For more information on contact lens use and your child, please contact Gordy EyeCare to set an appointment today!

image credit: SimonQ on flickr

New Eyes for the Needy - Another Great Non-Profit Organization

eyeglassesMoralEyes, a socially responsible start up located in Brooklyn, NY, will hand deliver 2,400 pairs of eyeglasses to the offices of New Eyes for the Needy on May 4th. MoralEyes will shut down their offices for the day and make the trip to Short Hills, New Jersey where New Eyes for the Needy is headquartered.

MoralEyes is a humanitarian based wholesaler and retailer of modern reading glasses and accessories inspired by companies and people like Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes. The business model is simple - for every pair of glasses sold, wholesale or retail, they donate a pair to New Eyes for the needy. Their goal for 2011 is to donate over 10,000 pairs of glasses to New Eyes.

New Eyes for the Needy is a non-profit organization committed to providing eyeglasses to children and adults in need across the United States and in developing countries around the world. Last year New Eyes for the Needy provided eyeglasses to 4,102 needy residents of the U.S. and 200,000 poor people in developing nations, enabling American children to succeed in school, adults to secure jobs and senior citizens to read medicine labels by improving their eyesight.

For more information on how Gordy EyeCare is involved in the community contact us today!

image credit: Muffet on flicker

Testing Vision-related Symptoms of Athletic Concussions

football concussionsAthletic concussions have been at  the forefront of medical research for the last couple of years. The NFL has been the main culprit in the social spotlight as its athletes have become bigger, faster, stronger, and the hits have become more violent. More importantly than the violence has been the medical treatment given to players immediately after a big hit, but the answer might be on the horizon.

Recently, neurologists and ophthalmologists at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that a children’s reading test designed by Dr. Alan King and his colleague 35 years ago has the potential to become the next, big thing in concussion testing.

The King-Devick Test, which takes less than two minutes, requires a person to read single-digit numbers in a four-page flipbook while being timed.

University of Pennsylvania researchers found in a study of 39 boxers and mixed martial arts fighters, the times of those who experienced head trauma were significantly worse than those who were not struck in the head. According to the study, fighters who lost consciousness were 18 seconds slower on the test after their bouts.

King believes the test can be used in any sport where head injuries are prevalent, notably football and hockey.

He sees trainers, coaches and physicians being able to use the test on the sidelines during games to determine whether a possibly concussed athlete can continue playing. Researchers are viewing the King-Devick Test as a major step forward in helping diagnose concussions in a timely manner.

For more information on vision related symptoms of concussions, please contact Gordy EyeCare today.

image credit: Vlastula on flickr

Do You Wonder If Your Optometrist Can Write A Prescription?

optometry equipmentIn an article released earlier this month, Optometrists in Ottawa, Canada have been given permission to prescribe medicine to their patients to treat a select few diseases and infections.  This will eliminate the necessity of patients to have to see a doctor to receive medicine to treat routine eye infections.

The Canadian province legalized this practice due to the lack of Ophthalmologists in the area. Ophthalmologists are doctors specialized in eye care while Optometrists are regulated health professionals trained to diagnose and treat eye disorders.

The Canadian government also believes that by giving optometrists this opportunity to prescribe medicine they will be able to prevent vision loss due to treatment earlier than previous standards.

For more information on regulations in the United States and your options for treatment, contact Gordy EyeCare today.

image credit: robotconscience on flickr

Do you only go to your eye doctor if you have a problem with your vision?

eye equipmentWhen it comes to regular vision checkups, are you like the many people that pass on regular visits? Do you only go to your eye doctor if you have a problem with your vision?

In today’s economic climate it is understandable, most insurance policies do not have vision coverage, and simply put we just can’t afford it if it’s not a problem that we are forced to deal with immediately.

An article published earlier this month in a Scottish news publication mentioned a man that had not been to his eye doctor in over 15 years. During the exam he was diagnosed with a pituitary brain tumor.  The tumor, which left untreated, can cause permanent eye damage. In this case, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor and no further threats to his vision are expected.

This is just one case in many where the importance of routine vision exams should be noted. If you are in need of a vision exam or have questions about your insurance or our policy, please contact Gordy EyeCare today!

image source: golo undertow

No More Carrying Two Pair of Glasses - Superfocus Lenses Are Here!

coffee geek glassesA couple of weeks ago at the International Vision Expo in New York City, a new technology was debuted that might make carrying multiple pair of eyeglasses obsolete.  This revolution in eyewear is termed the “Superfocus lens” and is estimated to be on the market in 2011.

More than 149 million Americans wear eyeglasses and its estimated that more than 50 million carry multiple pairs of eyeglasses. The leading cause for this is presbyopia, the lack of ability for your eyes to focus up close, and it occurs in most people over the age of 40, creating the need for multiple pairs of eyeglasses for vision correction.

The “Superfocus lens” is an all-in-one technology new to the consumer that is capable of adjusting to meet all vision needs with one pair of eyeglasses. This is possible through the adjustment of the liquid lens by way of a tiny lever on the side of the frame.  Early response was extremely positive as the possibility of this new technology can revolutionary. Although, the preliminary style concepts have left people searching for more substance.

For more information on presbyopia or on the “superfocus” lens please contact Gordy EyeCare today.

image source: CoffeeGeek