Eye Health Care

Eye Health Care.

If you were able to choose which one of your senses you would lose, which one would it be? Certainly we wouldn't want to lose any of them, but you have to admit that it would be easier to live without smell or even taste, than it would be to live without eyesight.

Our eyes are not only "the window to our souls", but they can also be windows for our eye doctor to look into to see how our general health is doing.

My grandson recently had an eye exam done with his mother present and she was completely amazed at the things the doctor was able to see. The beautiful, penetrating, bright color that was around the inside of his eye, she was told, is the healthy eyes of youth. As we get older we lose that color.

An eye doctor is able to see the condition of the blood vessels in the back of the eye, which are representative of how the blood vessels are in the rest of the body.

He is also able to spot disease in the body such as diabetes and glaucoma, both which can lead to blindness or other major issues. They might also see cataracts or macular degeration which usually come with age.

My father had macular degeneration for a number of years. At that time there was not much they could do except put drops in his eyes and have him take vitamins. We have a hilarious story about him on a hunting trip if you need a good laugh.(

Recently, my friend's husband woke up and was unable to see anything from a certain spot in his eye. They quickly went to an ophthalmologist where he was diagnosed with a macular hole. Surgery was performed.

He had to stay face down for 10 days and had to stay at a low altitude for a few days longer because of pressure, but he is now fine and seeing good again. It is wonderful that there is now something that can be done - but why not prevent it if we can?

Some other eye problems we might develop include diminished color vision, loss of peripheral vision, problems driving at night, dry eyes, and floaters crossing our vision.

All of these are warnings that we need to pay more attention to our eye health care.

So, what are some eye health care steps we can take to protect our eyes?

The obvious:

  • Always wear good quality sunglasses and/or a hat when in bright sunlight.
  • Don't look directly at the sun. (We live in the west where all the fires are burning so the air is sometimes filled with smoke. We had visited the nearby cliff dwellings one Saturday, and after a great day which ended with a picnic, we began to drive home just as the sun was getting low in the sky. We looked at what we thought was the moon rising - very beautiful with a glorious colorful sunset. We soon figured out that it was the sun during an eclipse - the smoke from the fire made a beautiful filter and we were able to look directly at the eclipse. Back to the subject)

  • Don't watch TV in poorly lit areas.
  • Never read in the dark.
  • When working on a computer for long periods of time take a break often.
  • If using the computer in the middle of the night adjust the brightness so the contrast is not so startling.
  • If you wear contact lenses, keep them in a sterile solution when you are not wearing them, and be sure to watch the expiration date on that solution. Keep it fresh.
  • If you have had an eye infection, throw away all old eye make up - and don't use someone else's eye make up.
  • Don't smoke.

There are also other, less obvious, things that we need to do to help with our eye health care.

Rest your eyes. I really think we forget to do this as part of our eye health care. I am not just talking about sleep - although that is extremely important. But rather, just allowing our over-stimulated, computer-screen dominated, eyes, to take a break. Go outside and sit on a bench - look around. Enjoy the flowers. Look at the birds.

  • Eye cupping is a simple and fun way to give your eyes a break. Rub your palms together in rapid circles to warm them up - then place them firmly against your eyes. Breathe deeply and count to 50. You will see all kinds of colors in those 50 seconds - and when you are done your eyes will feel rested.
  • A really fabulous thing to do, is to steep two chamomile tea bags (or make herbal tea with loose chamomile). Cool them to barely warm. If using tea, dip cotton balls in and wring them out so they are barely moist. Lay down, lay them on your eyes and relax for 20 to 30 minutes. You can also use eyebright herb or fresh chickweed for this.

Eye exerises are important to keep our eyes working their best. Simple exercises like alternating your focus on objects that are close and then far away, and focusing on objects in your peripheral vision on the left and the right, up and down, without moving your head, can be done easily and routinely, and will strengthen your eyes.

Nutrition. Nutrition for our eye health care is one of the most important things we can do, if not the most important. In order to fully comprehend the importance of daily eye health care we need to understand a few things.

  • Beta carotene is a carotenoid which is found in brightly colored vegetables (red, yellow and orange). It is also found in Kale and Spinach. It is an antioxidant which is converted by the body to Vitamin A, as well as to retinol, which is essential for vision.
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin are members of the carotenoid family and are the nutrients found most abundantly in the eye. They protect the eyes from disease and vision loss. These nutrients filter high intensity light and maintain the retina cells. (Interesting to know though, lutein absorbs better if there is some fat present!)
  • Omega 3s. DHA from algae or fish oil is a long chain essentail fatty acid that helps repair and support the rods and cones of the eye.
  • Eye Vitamins. B Vitamins are responsible for nerve impulse assistance and Vitamin A helps with night vision. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and is also an antioxidant.

I know I have a tendancy to get long winded and make my pages really long - there are always so many interesting things to share. I will therefore end this page, and continue the subject of eye health care on the next page, called "Beautiful Eyes Begin With Nutrition," which will include food and herbs that are filled with the needed nutrients to keep our eyes healthy.

Please go there - the best and most important stuff is still coming.

Go from Eye Health Care to Beautiful Eyes Begin With Nutrition.

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