Posts Tagged ‘cataracts’

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
info@live-well.com.my.

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

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

Causes and Effects of poor vision

Eye examination chartThere are many different effects and causes of poor vision. Some symptoms include blurred vision, halos, floaters and blind spots among many others.  Whatever the vision changes, they should not be ignored. The causes of eye symptoms is varied and should be diagnosed by your eye doctor. Some common causes can be as simple as aging or temporary effects of various medications. However the cause may be something much more serious such as diabetes, which can effect different organs in your body and cause retinal bleeding and even blindness. Visual changes and problems can be caused by different conditions. Some are listed below,

  • Presbyopia — difficulty focusing on objects that are close. Often becomes noticeable in your early to mid 40s.
  • Cataracts — cloudiness over the eye lens, causing poor nighttime vision, halos around lights, and sensitivity to glare. Daytime vision is eventually affected. Common in the elderly.
  • Glaucoma — increased pressure in the eye, causing poor night vision, blind spots, and loss of vision to either side. A major cause of blindness. Glaucoma can happen gradually or suddenly — if sudden, it’s a medical emergency.
  • Diabetic retinopathy — this complication of diabetes can lead to bleeding into the retina. Another common cause of blindness.
  • Macular degeneration — loss of central vision, blurred vision (especially while reading), distorted vision (like seeing wavy lines), and colors appearing faded. The most common cause of blindness in people over age 60.
  • Eye infection, inflammation, or injury.
  • Floaters — tiny particles drifting across the eye. Although often brief and harmless, they may be a sign of retinal detachment.
  • Night blindness.
  • Retinal detachment — symptoms include floaters, flashes of light across your visual field, or a sensation of a shade or curtain hanging on one side of your visual field.
  • Optic neuritis — inflammation of the optic nerve from infection or multiple sclerosis. You may have pain when you move your eye or touch it through the eyelid.
  • Stroke or TIA.
  • Brain tumor.
  • Bleeding into the eye.
  • Temporal arteritis — inflammation of an artery in the brain that supplies blood to the optic nerve.
  • Migraine headaches — spots of light, halos, or zigzag patterns are common symptoms prior to the start of the headache.

If you are suffering from any of these conditions please contact Dr. Gordy directly to schedule an eye examination.

How often should you get your eyes checked?

Eye examinationHow often you get your eyes examined depends on your age. 

Infants

By six months all infants should have their eyes examined by an optomotrist. By nine months of age infants’ fine stereopsis is fully developed. Any disease or condition which would prevent the infant from seeing clearly and simultaneously during this time with both eyes may result in not developing stereo vision. If you wait until after nine months of age it will be too late for intervention to correct the primary problem for developing stereo vision in the infant.

Toddlers

At ages 3 and 5 toddlers should have their eyes examined. By age six children’s binocular vision is fully developed. Any disease or condition which would prevent the child from seeing clearly and simultaneously during this time with both eyes may result in the child having a “lazy eye” or “crossed eyes“. Lazy eyes and even crossed eyes are not detectable by simply looking at the child. Special testing by a doctor qualified to exam eyes is required to determine what the problem is. Lazy or crossed eyes are treatable problems. However, in order to ensure the most favorable outcome it must be detected early, if you wait until after six years of age the prognosis for success is much lower.

Adolescents

During adolecent years vision continues to change and therefore they should have their eyes examined every year to ensure the correct perscription.

Ages 19 to 39

During this time, the majority of prescriptions will stabilize and therefore should be tested every two years. Although you may think you are seeing well, there are conditions, such as glaucoma, which can cause you to permanently lose up to 90% of your peripheral nerve fibers before you are aware of it.

Age 40 and up

After the age of 40 annual exam examinations are suggested. During this time the occurance of complications from high blood pressure, glaucoma, thyroid problems, diabetes, cataracts and arthritis increase substantially. With early detection a lot of permanent loss can be prevented, therefore it is critical to have annual examinations to ensure there are no changes.

Whatever your age or needs may be Gordy EyeCare is there to ensure you are seeing clearly with healthy eyes! Schedule your eye examination today