Tag Archives: eye health

10 Tips to rejuvenate your eyes this summer

You might have already started wearing your sunglasses and slathering on sunscreen as summer soon approaches. In spite of taking all these precautions, there are still high chances that you may end up catching an eye allergy because of the rising temperature. Here are some simple yet effective tips that you can try to rejuvenate your eyes…

1. If you get conjunctivitis or red eyes, ensure that you consult your eye doctor and use your eye drops regularly. Maintain hygiene so that it doesn’t spread to people around you. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious so try to wash your hands as much as possible.

2. Do simple eye exercises every morning. This is especially essential for those who spend hours in front of the computer screen everyday. Wash your eyes with a splash of cold water at least twice a day.

3. To relax, place cucumbers on your eyes. This will provide a lot of relief to tired eyes.

4. If you are prone to dust allergy, use an eye compress.

5. Eat a lot of green veggies and protein-rich foods — these are excellent for eye health.

6. Don’t expose your eyes directly to air conditioner. This may cause your eyes to get dry and sensitive.

7. Don’t share your makeup products, especially the ones that are applied on your eyes. This may also result in spreading infection.

8. Give yourself an eye massage. Use your thumb and index finger to give your eyes a soothing massage. Much needed this summer!

9. If you are a swimmer, make sure to wear water goggles.

10. Sleep for at least six to eight hours a day. That in itself is a good way to rejuvenate your eyes. If you suffer from dry eyes, use soothing eye drops to get some relief. Don’t forget to blink your eyes often.

A banana may boost eye health!

It is time we change the old adage, for a banana a day may keep blindness away. Eating a banana daily is likely to boost eye health and prevent vision-related diseases, a study has found.

Researchers have found that bananas have carotenoid — a compound that turn fruits and vegetables red, orange or yellow and are converted into vitamin A, important precursors for eye health — in the liver.

According to previous research, foods containing high levels of carotenoids also protect against chronic disease, including certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The study showed that banana rich in provitamin A carotenoids may offer a potential food source for alleviating vitamin A deficiency — important for sight.

To combat vitamin A deficiency, researchers have been investigating methods to boost carotenoids in bananas. Cara L. Mortimer and other researchers from Queensland University of Technology in Australia studied two banana varieties to find out why they make very different amounts of carotenoids. They found that the pale yellow, low-carotenoid cavendish variety produces more of an enzyme that breaks down carotenoids.

In addition, another variety stashes its carotenoids in microscopic sacs during ripening, shifting the chemical equilibrium in the fruit so it can make even higher levels of these substances. The findings, published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, can someday help in the development of banana varieties with enhanced health benefits.

Bananas are ideal food for young children and families for many regions of the world, because of their sweetness, texture, portion size, familiarity, availability, convenience, versatility and cost.

Leafy Greens, Every Day, May Keep Glaucoma Away

New research indicates that leafy greens may be even healthier than we thought. While veggies like spinach, kale and collard greens may not be able to cure glaucoma, eating them regularly may help protect you against ever developing the most common form of the disease, known as primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School followed more than 100,000 men and women who were enrolled in two major medical studies for a period of more than 28 years. Everyone in these studies was 40 years or older, and none had glaucoma at the start of the study.

Kale

The patients received eye exams every two years, and throughout the course of the studies, 1,483 people developed POAG. When the researchers looked at the diets of the study participants, they noted a strong similarity among those who did not develop glaucoma — these people ate more leafy greens. In fact, greater intake of green leafy vegetables was associated with a 20 percent to 30 percent lower risk of POAG.

The association was even stronger for POAG with early paracentral visual field loss, a common subtype of POAG. The research revealed that people who ate a lot of leafy greens had a 40 percent to 50 percent lower risk of acquiring this form of the disease.

The reason these super foods offer such great protection is related to the dietary nitrate they contain. It’s thought that glaucoma impairs blood flow to the optic nerve. Nitric oxide helps regulate this flow. Since leafy greens contain high levels of nitrates, the precursor to nitric oxide, consuming them likely keeps things running more smoothly.

A significant amount of other new research is currently aimed at developing therapeutics that treat glaucoma by way of nitric oxide. In fact, the FDA is reviewing at least one new medication that donates nitric oxide. But thanks to this latest report, far fewer people will need it if they load up on leafy greens before any glaucomatous damage is done.

So just how much roughage do you need to eat to protect yourself from glaucoma? In this study, those who consumed the most leafy greens averaged about 1.5 servings per day, which equates to about one and a half cups.

The study was published in JAMA Ophthalmology this month — A.H.

This article was originally published on the All About Vision website.

Time Spent Outdoors Associated With Reduced Myopia Risk

Booting your children outside to play can not only boost their physical fitness – it can cut the chances of their developing shortsightedness, researchers say.

Shortsightedness, or myopia, has become increasingly common over the last four decades, both in the US and elsewhere – indeed, in parts of Asia, more than 80 percent of the population is nearsighted.

And a new University of Cambridge analysis of recent eye health studies indicates that the reason may be that children are spending too much time indoors, possibly because of a lack of light or too little time spent looking at distant objects.

The data included in the analysis was drawn from eight carefully selected studies on outdoor time and myopia in children and adolescents, representing 10,400 participants in total.

And the team found that for each additional hour spent outdoors per week, the chance of myopia dropped by approximately two percent. Nearsighted children spent on average 3.7 fewer hours per week outdoors than those who either had normal vision or were farsighted.

Though the reasons aren’t yet clear, the protective effect appears to result from simply being outdoors rather than performing a specific activity. Two of the eight studies examined whether children who spent more time outdoors were also those who spent less time performing near work, such as playing computer games or studying, but no such relationship was found.

“Increasing children’s outdoor time could be a simple and cost-effective measure with important benefits for their vision and general health,” says Dr Anthony Khawaja.

“If we want to make clear recommendations, however, we’ll need more precise data. Future, prospective studies will help us understand which factors, such as increased use of distance vision, reduced use of near vision, natural ultra violet light exposure or physical activity, are most important.”

It also appears that boosting outdoor time may stop nearsightedness from getting worse. A separate Chinese study of 80 nearsighted children between the ages of seven and 11 found that those that were given more outdoor time each week for a two-year period were less nearsighted on average than the control group.

Eating for Eye Health

The eyes are most often exposed to the damaging effects of the surrounding environment, and unfortunately they are most frequently unprotected. Diffuse light, cigarette smoke, car exhaust gases or simply the dusted, dry air can affect our sensitive visual system. But apart from avoiding external damaging factors, we must also include in our diet food items that contain substances which are vital for the good health of our eyes.

Those so much talked about, vital substances called “antioxidants” can protect our organism from free radicals. These beneficial substances include vitamins A, E, and C, as well as micro-elements such as selenium and carotenoids. From a nutritional point of view, the American National Eye Institute conducted a research which has demonstrated that there are indeed certain nutrients that can ensure the protection of our eyes. The most significant foods that can prevent ocular degeneration are the ones which are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zeaxanthin and lutein, zinc and omega-3 fats.

Among these excellent foods we could of course mention carrots. They are full of beta carotene, which is an antioxidant that reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration process. Carrots can be part of salads, soups or they can be part of a side dish for lunch or dinner. They can be added to most anything: hummus, salsa, peanut butter, guacamole and low calorie dressings. Some other foods that are excellent for the good health of our eyes include broccoli, bell peppers and Brussels sprouts. They all provide a good quantity of vitamin C, which is yet another essential antioxidant for the protection of our eyes. These veggies can be steamed, roasted, added to omelets or soups. Also, they may be combined for a delicious “pasta primavera” (spring time pasta), with a little bit of oil and garlic.

Of course, not only fruit and veggies are good for the eyes. Apparently, the meat which is healthiest for the eyes is the ostrich meat. This kind of meat can actually be a substitute for turkey, chicken, pork or lamb meat. It has the quality of absorbing all kinds of seasonings and it contains zinc, iron and a lot of proteins. Zinc is actually one of the most essential ingredients for the maintenance of healthy eyes. Zinc is contained by the retina. This substance is responsible for the good functioning of enzymes which are actually meant to ensure the eyes’ health. Turkey meat also contains a lot of zinc and the B-vitamin niacin which can protect the eyes against cataracts disease. Turkey meat can be used in sandwiches, salads, chili and tacos or burgers.

Another veggie which contains high levels of beta carotene is the sweet potato. As their name suggests, sweet potatoes do indeed have a sweet taste. These vegetables can be included in recipes for dinner side dishes. They can be baked with a small quantity of oil or they can be used for the famous French fries.

Another amazing food that can do wonder to one’s eyes is spinach. This one contains four essential ingredients that can protect one’s eyes. Thus, spinach contains vitamin C, high quantities of zeaxanthin, lutein and beta carotene. All these antioxidants can be found in the macula’s tissue. They have the special capacity of absorbing 40%-90% of the intensity of blue light, and therefore can act like a sort of eyes’ sunscreen. Several research results have attested that if we eat foods which contain a large quantity of zeaxanthin and lutein, our macula’s pigment density can be increased. This means that our retina is better protected, and therefore there is a much lower probability of macular degeneration for our eyes. Spinach is generally eaten as a side dish. However, it can be a delicious salad or omelet ingredient. It is low in calories and rich in vitamins, so there is no reason why to avoid such a beneficial healthy food. The key is to give it a good taste, without overcooking it so as not to lose its nutritive qualities.

There are even foods which can help protect those very small blood vessels that are found deep inside our eyes. Such foods include sardines and wild salmons. Because of that it’s highly recommended to eat at least 2-3 portions every week.

By Claudia Miclaus

6 Best Foods for Eye Health

Many people are trying to find was to improve vision naturally. This is certainly a worthy endeavor. But no matter how many eye exercises one does, a person’s vision will not get better without proper nutrition. Like you brain and heart, your eyes respond better to certain foods than others. This guide will show the foods that are in a sense…eye candy!

Food 1: Carrots

We have always heard to eat our carrots in order to have good vision; well guess what? This is true. Carrots are a great source of Vitamin A, and eating enough of them can help prevent eye problems such as night blindness. Carrots also contain other nutrients critical to maintaining retina health, and keeping Macular Degeneration at bay.

Food 2: Spinach

Spinach didn’t do much for Popeye’s right eye, but spinach does more than make people strong to the finish. Spinach is filled with Vitamin A and antioxidants that will help restore your vision. Spinach also has lutein, which is an elixir of sorts for your eyes.

Food 3: Kale

Kale is a cabbage that is purple or green, and it’s headless. Dr. Joel Furhman and other nutritionists sees kale as the most healthy vegetable on the planet. Kale is very high in beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Plus, kale doesn’t lose its nutrients when you steam, micro-wave, or stir fry it (but don’t boil it).

Food 4: Papaya

Vitamin A is the best “alphabet vitamin” for the eyes, and papaya contains 46% Vitamin A. Papaya is a versatile food because it can be eaten raw or cooked, it’s great with both salads and stews, and you can make it into a tea. The leaves can also be steamed and eaten along with spinach for even more nutrition for your eyes.

Food 5: Milk

Milk is a great source of vitamins A, B, and D. Milk also has plenty of protein which is an essential building block for your eyes and the rest of your body as well. Milk helps make oatmeal creamier; this is great because oatmeal is another food that can help improve your sight.

Food 6: Salmon

Salmon as well as white fishes such as tuna contain Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and D; these help you brain which in turn improves the health of your eyes. In order to benefit from these you should eat it about 2 to 3 times per week.

Nutrition is an important part to any aspect of physical therapy; eye therapy is no exception. You can do your eyes a favor by eating more of these foods above.

By Jon J Nestorovic

LIVING WELL: Don’t lose sight of eye health

Don’t be blinded by common eye myths.

In considering one’s eye health, it’s important to look at all the facts and see through all the myths. So let’s start with the first myth – that there is nothing you can do to prevent vision loss. The real facts are that more than 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented; early detection of vision problems is crucial to preventing vision loss from many eye diseases (e.g. diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma); and regular eye exams can help save one’s sight.

This leads to myth number two – that eye exams are only necessary if you’re having problems. In fact, everyone should have regular eye exams whether there are any noticeable signs of vision problems or not.  Prevent Blindness America recommends that children should be tested at birth, again at 6 months, before entering school and then periodically throughout the school year. Adults should be tested every two years or more often, as directed by one’s physician. People with diabetes or an eye disease should receive a comprehensive eye exam annually.

Some myths have been perpetuated by our well-meaning parents (and perhaps continued by all who then became parents) who cautioned that sitting too close to the television would ruin our eyes; eating carrots would help our eyes; and reading in dim light would damage our eyes. The facts: sitting too close to the TV or spending too much time watching it or the hand-held electronics everyone is attached to now does not damage one’s eyes. In fact, young children have a greater ability to focus on objects closer to their eyes than adults do, so children sitting closer or holding reading material closer makes sense. Typically, the distance increases as one gets older. But again, regular eye exams for children can detect vision problems if ones exist. And while carrots are a great source of vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin for sight, only a small amount of vitamin A is needed for good vision. Not to knock carrots, but a well-balanced diet with or without carrots provides adequate nutrition for vision. As for dim lights, eye strain most probably will result but no permanent damage will occur.

Eye strain also comes from reading fine print for too long but doing so will not damage or “wear out” one’s eyes. Reportedly, this is one of the most widely held myths but there is no evidence to support that reading too much or for too long will cause any damage or wear.

Contact lenses and glasses can correct vision enough to improve eyesight, but will not “cure” vision problems caused by physical injury or heredity (such as nearsightedness or myopia). Even though going without glasses will not damage one’s vision further, it’s important to keep your corrective lenses prescription current for a host of reasons, not the least of which is to be able to see well! Some people, particularly athletes, prefer contact lenses, which provide better peripheral vision than glasses. And contact lenses have come a long way to incorporate the need for correcting both nearsightedness and farsightedness for those who need lenses for distance as well as reading.

The fine print on all of this is to have your eyes examined regularly; report any visual problems immediately; and give your eyes the rest and support they need!

Eye Health Tips

Issues with our eyesight can have severe inferences on our way of living. We use our eye in every single action of our own lives although reading, writing, watching television, employing pc or mobile phone or going somewhere. We really should look after our eyes. Without vision we are not able to do anything whatsoever properly therefore we can not even envision regarding it.

We are able to maintain our eyes healthy by many techniques. Even once you feel you eye are wholesome and there is certainly no issue with your eye sight but to make it positive you must pay a visit to an eye specialist for complete eye check-up. Some eye illnesses don’t have any forewarning symbols for instance such as glaucoma and diabetic eye disease etc. A complete eye checkup will be the only technique to distinguish these diseases. In the course of checkup an eye specialist puts drops in your eyes to enlarge the pupil to ensure that a lot more light enter into your vision this enables you eye specialist to take a look at the rear of your eye and check symptoms of illness or injury.

Supplements perform a important role in enhancing and supporting eye health. Vitamin A is present in liver, carrots, potatoes etc. Shortage of a vitamin inside your body can trigger lack of sight and corneal ulcers. Eye health is elevated by vitamins due to the fact they contain significant amount of antioxidants and other compounds that stop the harm of healthy tissues.

Antioxidants also make night vision better. Ascorbic Acid is present in broccoli, oranges, strawberries etc and decrease pressure in Glaucoma also as the danger of cataracts. Vitamin E is present in hazelnuts and almonds etc also it can reduce the threat of cataracts and macular degeneration.

For Eye Health, you should eat wholesome diet plan mainly leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens. Fish has an crucial location in diet plan for eye wellness. Mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines and halibut are great for eyes. Give up smoking for wholesome eyes as it can be associated to the lack of vision. Moreover, diseases brought on by smoking incorporate cataracts, optic nerve harm and age-related macular degeneration.

Keeping away from eye infection is also important this might be completed by washing both hands before and following touching your eye area plus before you devote or remove your contact lenses. Look after your lenses and don’t wear them when your eyes are irritated. Keep your lenses clean and also pay attention to the expiry of remedy.

Sunglasses guard your eyes from ultraviolet rays of sun. Once you purchase shades choose the 1 that will block many ultraviolet radiations simply because they harm your vision. In case you spend plenty of time focusing on the personal computer it really is far better to place it to 1 side and in the event you feel pressure in your eye rest with regard to time and require a modest break right after every single hour. Focal point may be adjusted once again by looking at a distant object. Whilst watching television, there should be a suitable and adequate distance between you and the television. Television ought to be positioned parallel to your eyes and correctly regulated.

Vitamin C may be critical for eye health

New research indicates that Vitamin C may be critical to maintaining good eye health and could be protective for those at risk of glaucoma.

The study done by Oregon Health & Science University indicates that Vitamin C may be needed for correct functioning of retinal cells.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that cells in the central nervous system need to be bathed in Vitamin C and because the retina is part of the central nervous system, there is likely an important role for Vitamin C.

Retinal cells share some characteristics with brain cells, one of which is special receptors called GABA-type receptors that help manage the rapid transfer of information between cells. The research shows that in retinal cells these receptors stop functioning properly if there is insufficient Vitamin C.

This new research used goldfish retinas which the researchers claim have the same overall biological structure as human retinas.

Dr Peter Hadden, Refractive-Cataract Surgery and Retinal Surgery Specialist at Eye Institute says Lutein, beta-carotene and biliberry extracts as well as dietary antioxidants such as Vitamins A and E have been used in eye health supplementation.

“Now recent evidence suggests that Vitamin C is also essential to eye health and may have potential for general maintenance and protection of those at risk of glaucoma.

“While there is still much to learn about the impact of Vitamin C on eye health, anyone that has a genetic predisposition to age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma may wish to consider taking supplements, including Vitamin C, to postpone or prevent the vision-disabling consequences of both these diseases,” says Dr Hadden.

Michelle Palmer, Executive Director of Natural Products New Zealand says that while more research is needed to establish the extent of benefits from using Vitamin C for eye health, early indications would suggest that the antioxidant could provide positive results.

“Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients. It is an extremely versatile mineral that has multiple benefits, from protection against immune system deficiencies, and cardiovascular disease, prenatal health and healthy skin. We know that it is required to help the human eye function properly and this latest research demonstrates that perhaps regular supplementation of Vitamin C could be preventative to eye health issues,” says Mrs Palmer.

Study Reveals Majority of Americans are not Taking Proper Steps to Care for the Health of Their Eyes

Research Shows Ethnic Minorities are Less Concerned about Eye Health – Placing Them at Even More of an Increased Risk of Certain Vision Conditions

 The results of recent, comprehensive research supported by Transitions Optical revealed that the majority of Americans are not taking the proper steps to care for the health of their eyes, and that awareness of both short- and long-term effects of UV exposure on vision is remarkably low. The results also indicated that overall awareness about eye health is even lower among certain ethnic groups, including Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans, who are already at an increased risk for a number of health-related issues – many that can impact vision.

Surprisingly, less than four out of 10 Americans reported visiting their eye doctor within the past 12 months. And Americans are not just neglecting to schedule eye exams for themselves – only four out of 10 parents have taken their children to an eye doctor within the past year. What’s more, Hispanics and Asian Americans are more likely than the general population to have never scheduled an appointment for their children. Because 80 percent of learning is through vision, it is especially important that children can see their best to perform well both in and out of the classroom.

While low concern and awareness of eye health is surprising among the general population, it is even more alarming among ethnic minorities such as Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans, who are more likely to develop serious eye and overall health issues that can take a toll on their vision. More specifically, both Hispanics and African Americans are often affected by overall health issues such as diabetes and hypertension, which have vision implications and can be detected through the eye, making regular, comprehensive eye exams even more important. Hispanics are also at higher risk for many eye health issues, including pterygia and glaucoma, as well as macular degeneration and cataracts, which have both been linked to UV exposure. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness among all African Americans, and they are also at higher risk for developing cataracts at a younger age. Asian Americans are more likely to develop angle-closure glaucoma and near-sightedness (myopia), as well as Type 2 diabetes, which can make them more susceptible to heightened damage from UV exposure, reduced contrast sensitivity and increased light sensitivity.

However despite this, the research revealed that two out of three respondents don’t know that their ethnicity could be putting them at higher risk for certain vision conditions.

Survey results also suggest that ethnic minority groups may not be taking adequate steps to protect their vision. For example, although Hispanics responded the most in-line with the general population, they were still more likely to believe that UV protection is only important in the spring and summer months, and were less likely to say that “eye health protection” is an important consideration when selecting eyewear.

While African Americans were the most likely to say they would schedule an eye exam if experiencing symptoms of vision problems such as near-sightedness or presbyopia (loss of ability to focus and see things up close), they were also the most likely to do nothing to protect their eyes from UV rays despite their increased risk of developing cataracts.

Despite research confirming that Asian Americans are at higher risk for developing near-sightedness, they were the least likely (six out of 10) to say they would make an eye appointment if having trouble seeing far away. They were not only the most likely demographic group to believe that UV protection is only important in the spring and summer months, but were also the most likely to believe that wearing eyeglasses can make their vision get worse.

“One of our constant goals at Transitions is to educate all consumers, regardless of ethnicity, about the importance of maintaining eye health,” said Dan McLean, marketing manager, communications, Transitions Optical. “This research shows that there is an even greater need to educate all populations and at-risk ethnic groups in particular, about how to take care of their eyes by getting regular, comprehensive eye exams and wearing proper UV-blocking eyewear all year-round.”

Because eye damage is cumulative, it is never too early or too late to start getting regular, comprehensive eye exams.

We carry Transitions Zeiss lens at wholesale costs here at KDT Optometry.

Herbs That Promote Eye Health

For at least 2000 years, various herbs have been utilized throughout the world to promote eye health–consumed regularly to prevent failing eyesight, and prepared as topical infusions to treat everything from common eye strain to glaucoma.

While there is little modern evidence to support many of the documented and anecdotal claims concerning some of these traditional herbal remedies, others have gained considerable supported from the medical community in recent years, scientifically recognized as containing healthful substances that can indeed prevent or treat eye ailments, and support overall eye health.

Here are ten currently enjoying wide-spread popularity among the ever-growing natural curative community as promoting eye health, as well as the subjects of ongoing scientific research.

> Asphalatus (asphalatus linearis):

Although little is currently known in the western world about this medicinal plant, asphalatus is said to have been used for thousands of years by the San Bushmen of South Africa to boost the immune system and maintain their exceptional eye sight. Known asrooibos to the people of the Cedarburg Mountains, asphalatus has been shown to contain especially high concentrations of iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and antioxidants essential to eye health and keen vision.

> Basil:

While most people may not think of basil as an herb to be brewed and consumed as a tea, science has shown that it’s actually one of the best ways for the body to absorb the numerous eye-supporting vitamins and minerals this plant possesses. An excellent source of vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and iron, basil also contains high concentrations of carotenoids such as beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A–a scientifically-proven nutrient for maintaining strong eyesight.

> Bilberry:

Widely used in past centuries to promote general eye health, the active ingredients in bilberry, called anthocyanosides, are antioxidants that help improve the flow of blood through the capillaries of the eyes. When eaten regularly, these smaller cousins of the blueberry help eyes adjust more quickly to changes in light and improve sharpness of vision. Bilberries have also been shown to be effective in stopping the progression of cataracts when combined with sources of vitamin E, as well as in helping treat damage to the retina. (There are also numerous claims that bilberries improve night vision.)

> Cayenne:

A teaspoon of cayenne powder provides more than 8X the daily recommended dose of vitamin A, one of the vitamins responsible for protecting the surface of the eye (cornea)–and essential for good vision. Taken in combination with other antioxidant vitamins, cayenne may also be beneficial in decreasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Additionally, taken with a primary source of lutein (such as spinach), cayenne may prolong vision in people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

> Cornflower:

Grown primarily today as an ornamental garden plant, cornflower was for several centuries used in the UK and US to treat conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the eye caused by bacteria, viruses, allergy, or other invasive environmental factors. Simple to prepare, a handful of cornflower blossoms placed in a cup of boiling water (after the boiling has ceased), then steeped thirty minutes, can be used liberally as an eye wash. Many herbals attest to its effectiveness in treating the highly contagious condition “pink eye.”

> Eyebright (euphrasia):

From the Greek euphrasia, meaning “to gladden,” eyebright has been used since ancient times to treat various eye ailments, especially eye strain and mild infections. The flowering stems contain flavonoids, the glycoside aucubin, tannins, and essential oils which when prepared as an infusion can be applied as an eyebath or in compresses to treat inflammation of the outer and inner surfaces of eyelids, sties, and soothe tired/over-worked eyes.

> Ginkgo biloba:

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that a study of people suffering from glaucoma found that taking ginkgo biloba orally every day for eight weeks produced marked signs of improved vision. Other studies indicate that this popular herb, best known for promoting general circulation, might also benefit those who have eye damage from diabetes or macular degeneration.

> Grape seed:

One of the primary curatives of antiquity, the ancient Greeks advocated grape seed extract to prevent or slow down the growth of cataracts. Now understood to contain high levels of antioxidant properties called oligomeric proanthocyanidin, studies conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center confirm that while grape seed may not reverse cataracts you already have, it may prevent them or slow down the process. Other studies suggest that grape seed is good for peripheral circulation and strengthening of the capillaries.

> Spinach:

Spinach is especially high in lutein, a carotenoid found in the macular region (a small spot in the middle portion of the retina responsible for central vision) of the eye, retina, and lens which protects the macula tissue by absorbing damaging UV radiation. Lutein, however, cannot be manufactured by the body and must be taken in orally. Eating at least two ounces (58 grams) of fresh cooked spinach each day can help nourish the eye while fending off age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of irreversible blindness in individuals over the age of 65 in the US and other industrialized countries.

> Turmeric/curcumin:

A study of 32 people with uveitis (inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye which contains many eye-nourishing blood vessels) suggests that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may prove to be as effective as corticosteroids, the type of medication generally prescribed for this eye disorder. While more studies are needed to conclude decisively, researchers say turmeric may be effective in treating this disorder as well other eye inflammation.

 

3 Ways to Improve Your Eyesight

1. Eat Right

Vitamins A, C, E, and minerals like copper and zinc are essential to eyesight. Antioxidants protect your macula from sun damage, and foods rich in sulfur, cysteine, and lecithin help protect the lens of your eye from cataract formation. The omega-3 fat DHA provides structural support to cell membranes that boost eye health.

2. Limit Environmental Toxins

External factors that contribute to eye damage include fluorescent lights, computer screens, environmental allergens, and chlorine in swimming pools.

3. Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for eye health. Sleep time allows your eyes to fully rest, repair, and recover.

 

EyeCare America Reveals the “ABCs” Of Eye Health

As Schools Give Final Exams in June, Older Americans Can Learn About a Program that Provides Eye Exams at No Out-of-Pocket Cost

Can you imagine opening a textbook, only to see large black spots where words should be? Or just a large, hazy blur instead of sentences? This is what someone suffering from eye disease might see.

EyeCare America reminds everyone that education is lifelong. It’s never too late to learn how to take better care of your eyes, starting with these “ABCs”:

ACTIVATE your lifestyle. Get regular exercise and eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, avoiding fats and sweets. What’s good for your whole body is also good for your eyes.

BOOK an appointment today with an optometrist or ophthalmologist for a full eye exam. EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, provides eye exams at no out-of-pocket cost to people age 65 and older and offers free educational materials. The eye exams are provided by a corps of nearly 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Those interested in the program can visit www.eyecareamerica.org to see if they are eligible. The organization’s online referral center also enables friends and family members to find out instantly if their loved ones are eligible to be matched with an EyeCare America volunteer ophthalmologist.

CONTINUE to see your doctor regularly and to care for your eyes, so they can take care of you.

EyeCare America is designed for people who:

  • Are U.S. citizens or legal residents
  • Are age 65 and older
  • Have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years
  • Do not belong to an HMO or receive eye care benefits through the VA.

To see immediately if you, a loved one or a friend, 65 or older, is eligible to receive a referral for an eye exam and care, visitwww.eyecareamerica.org.

EyeCare America is co-sponsored by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., with additional support provided by Alcon. The program is endorsed by state and subspecialty ophthalmological societies.

About EyeCare America

Established in 1985, EyeCare America, the public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is committed to the preservation of sight, accomplishing its mission through public service and education. EyeCare America provides year round eye care services to medically underserved seniors and those at increased risk for eye disease through its corps of nearly 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists dedicated to serving their communities. More than 90 percent of the care made available is provided at no out-of-pocket cost to the patients. Since its inception, EyeCare America has helped more than 1.5 million people. EyeCare America is a non-profit program whose success is made possible through charitable contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. More information can be found at:www.eyecareamerica.org.

SOURCE EyeCare America