Archive for July, 2011

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