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Fortifying Your Eye Health

Your eyes must be protected with the most effort possible. Your eyesight allows you to see your loved ones, read a book, surf the net and view a beautiful sunset.

Many patients are affected with vision impairment that has taken the form of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, detached retinas and countless other eye illnesses. This is why you must protect your eyes every day.

It has been said that the human eye is by far the most vulnerable of all tissues to normal daily wear and tear. Each time you open your eyes the light that enters triggers free radicals that contribute to cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, mitochondrial dysfunction and chronic deterioration. In addition, air pollution, ultraviolet radiation from the sun, cigarette smoke, ionizing radiation and chemical toxins in our environment contribute to the decline of your eyes as well.

The Memory and Eye Connection

Your eyes may be just telling you more than how well you can see; declining vision can point to future problems with your brain power. There are studies showing a link between vision disorders and scoring lower on Mental State Examination (MMSE).[i] For example, there is an intimate link between macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. One of the commonalities between macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease involves plaques of the protein amyloid-beta, which are deposited in the eye and brain.[ii], [iii]

There are a couple of nutrients routinely used for targeting these plaques, which include curcumin (turmeric) and the supplement acetyl-l-carnitine.[iv]

Dry Eyes and Oxidative Damage

There are many reasons for dry eyes, including environment, dehydration, insufficient omega-3 fatty acid intake and excess oxidative damage. The fact is the human eye is the most energy dependent tissue per weight in the entire body. It also creates the most free radical damage and demands a significant amount of antioxidants. If you don’t actively quench the free radicals this will contribute to both tissue damage within the eye and also fuel inflammation that can accelerate countless diseases.[v]

Among the general nutrients you want to focus on getting in your diet and supplementing to fill in the gaps include: vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, glutathione and its precursors, such as lipoic acid and global antioxidants.[vi]

Fueling Your Eye’s Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

As we get older we have a tendency to see many of our tissues go from young and plump to sagging and aged. This is not surprising as hyaluronic acid levels are significantly lower in older individuals compared to younger subjects. A large portion of your inner eye is comprised of HA and with the passage of time the drop in HA increases risk of oxidative damage.[vii]

Specific Eye Conditions

Glaucoma

When there is increased pressure within the eye it can lead to nerve damage, which is a simple way to understand how glaucoma manifests. It should be noted occasionally that glaucoma can also manifest with normal pressure levels. There are several nutrients you may wish to visit with your eye doctor about. Here is a simple list:

  • Ginkgo biloba supports circulation, is an antioxidant and has shown promise with normal pressure glaucoma.[viii]
  • Resveratrol has been researched for its ability to protect nerve tissues found in glaucoma, while helping quench free radicals.[ix]
  • Vitamin A and C; diets low in fruit and vegetables lead to higher risk of glaucoma.[x]

Macular Degeneration

Visible light, such as that from indoor lighting, computers and smart phone screens, are not good for your eyes. With modern living, the level of free radicals that bombard our body and eyes is massive. Ensuring that you have your antioxidant levels increased is essential. You must protect your eyes and adhere to a strict routine of eating well and supplementing. Use the following focused supplementation and check in with your doctor to see what is best for you.

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Carotenoids, including but not limited, to beta carotene
  • Zinc
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin and astaxanthin

Overall Protection

The recommendations above generally apply to all eye conditions. You may also choose to add bilberry along with some grapeseed extract for extra nutritional protection. Some helpful and very important tips for lessening the burdens on your eyes are to turn down the brightness of your computer and smartphones. Always wear UV protection outside either as sunglasses or UV protective corrective lenses. Limit fried food and also make sure to control your blood sugar and blood pressure. Both diabetes and high blood pressure damage can often be seen by your eye doctor as reflected by damaged nerves and blood vessels. If you have pre-diabetes, diabetes or high blood pressure you will want to focus on getting these health risk factors under control.

*The information in this article is not medical advice and is intended to be for general informational purposes.  You should consult with your physician before taking any dietary supplements.


[i]Mandas A, et al. Front Aging Neurosci. 2014; 6:309.
[ii]Dentchev T, et al. Mol Vis. 2003; 9:184-90.
[iii]Johnson LV, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002; 99:11830-5
[iv]Zhou P, et al. Rejuvenation Res. 2011; 14:669-79.
[v]Augustin AJ, et al. Graefe Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1995; 233:694-8
[vi]Pinazo-Durán MD, et al. Clin Interv Aging. 2013; 8:139-48.
[vii]Pacella E, et al. Ophthalmol Eye Dis. 2015; 7:1-5.
[viii]Quaranta L, et al. Ophthalmology. 2003; 110:359-62.
[ix]Bola C, et al. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2014; 252:699-713.
[x]Zanon-Moreno V, et al. Mol Vis. 2013; 19:231-42.

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Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

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