Foods, Supplements, and Other Lifestyle Strategies That Promote Good Vision

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Deteriorating vision is primarily a side effect of our modern lifestyle that limits our time outside in daylight

Additionally, Continue reading

Your Body Needs Full Spectrum Light for Optimal Function

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Humans are adapted to sunlight as a complex stimulus that helps keep your body healthy. Exposure to the 1500 wavelengths in sunlight enables your body to react in a balanced and beneficial way Continue reading

Eat Right to Protect Your Eyesight

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness among the elderly, but may be largely preventable through an antioxidant-rich diet

To protect your eyesight, Continue reading

Resveratrol Could Cure Blindness

The cure for age-related macular degeneration and blindness could be as simple as taking a natural supplement extract derived from common grape skins. A recent review that the medical establishment refuses to publish has revealed that a unique and proprietary nutraceutical extract containing resveratrol could hold the key to literally curing age-related blindness, Continue reading

New Study Reveals Blindness Will Affect Millions…Permanent Blindness An Epidemic!

Few people realize that macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness for men and women aged 55 and over. It affects more than 10 million people in the U.S. alone — and millions more all over the world. 



Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a condition which causes light-sensitive cells in Continue reading

What Protects Your Eyes Better Than Carrots Can?

carrotsThe second most common cause of vision loss in people over 65 is macular degeneration. In this condition, the retina is injured. This condition affects close to two million people in the U.S., a number expected to rise as the population ages.

Macular degeneration happens when the macula has deteriorated to the point where your central vision is blurred, Continue reading

Cheaper Drugs Could Lead to Serious Eye issues: Queen’s University Expert

blindA Queen’s study of two eye drugs used to treat wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) has determined the cheaper of the two could lead to eye inflammation, a potentially blinding adverse effect.

“This is a very important finding,” says Sanjay Sharma (Ophthalmology and Epidemiology), Continue reading

The Most Important Vitamins as You Age

Nutritional deficiencies are quite common among older adults. Getting improper nutrition for less than one year can lead to full-fledged deficiencies in vitamins B and C. More than a year spent not getting proper nutrition would result in deficiencies in vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as B12. The more frequent chronic illnesses and medication use further compromise the nutritional status in older individuals. One study found that there was a high number of vitamin deficiencies found even among those who claimed to be taking multivitamin supplements on a daily basis.

Here are the main vitamins all adults, particularly older adults, must consider on a daily basis. Continue reading

This Common Med Linked to Eye Troubles

Many people take aspirin — especially seniors. This over- the-counter-medication is used to relieve pain associated with inflammation. Some even take aspirin to balance their blood pressure. But now, in the latest health news, researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience say that seniors who take aspirin daily may suffer from an unusual prescription side effect — a higher risk for macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration (MD) can be a serious condition that can lead to age-related loss of vision. Basically, there are two types of the eye disease: wet and dry. The wet form is caused by leaking blood vessels in the eye and can affect the vision in the center of your eye’s field of vision. The dry form of MD is far more common and can also lead to vision loss, though not as dramatically.

For the study, the European research team collected health and lifestyle information from nearly 4,700 people over age 65. The researchers found that 839 people took aspirin each day. Thirty-six participants in this group had the more serious condition of wet MD. Statistically, this means that, for every 100 daily aspirin users, four will get wet MD. In comparison, for every 100 people who took aspirin less frequently, only two will get MD.

The researchers caution Continue reading

8 Beneficial Reasons you should Eat Beets

Beets are often ignored by shoppers, even if they are available all year round. Perhaps you’re one of those who pass by the beet section looking for other veggies. Understanding the merits of buying, preparing, and consuming beets might make you reconsider and give them a fair trial.

Before getting into the eight health reasons, here is some information on preparing beets.

Purchasing and Preparing

Whole fresh organic beets offer two vegetables in one. The leaves are edible and tasty if steamed and topped with some butter, lemon or lime and your favorite spices. Those greens are similar to spinach in taste and texture and quite nutritious. Simply separate the beets from the leaves and store them until there are enough to steam. Continue reading

Proper Nutrition is Vital in Reducing Vision Loss in Middle Age

For people at a higher risk of losing central vision as they age, eating sufficient levels of certain dietary nutrients could help protect their eyes.

A new study finds that among people with a genetic susceptibility to macular degeneration — vision loss caused by erosion of the retina — those who ate higher levels of zinc, antioxidants, or omega-3 fatty acids cut their risk of developing the disease by as much as a third compared with those who ate lower levels of the nutrients.

“Therefore, clinicians should provide dietary advice to young susceptible individuals to postpone or prevent the vision-disabling consequences of (age-related macular degeneration),” the researchers wrote in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology. Age-related macular degeneration is common, accounting for half of all cases of blindness in developed countries, they note.

In the United States, the condition occurs  Continue reading

Less Age-Related Vision Loss Linked to Omega-3s

Women who get lots of omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease affecting millions of older adults in the U.S.

That’s the conclusion of a new study, which jibes with earlier research linking fish consumption to slower progression of AMD. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA include salmon, trout, sardines, herring and tuna.

AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessel growth behind the retina or breakdown of light-sensitive cells within the retina itself, both of which can cause serious vision impairment. Some 1.7 million Americans have severe vision loss due to the disease, making it the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Continue reading

VISION DISORDERS

Human vision is dependent on the successful interaction of optical structures in the eye. When these structures malfunction, vision disorders occur. The key to treatment and resolution of these disorders is early detection through regular eye exams and prompt consultation with an ophthalmologist when problems occur.

The best way to describe how vision works is to use the analogy of a camera. The pupil manages the incoming light rays, opening and closing—like a camera shutter—according to the amount of light available. These light rays are progressively refracted and focused by three structures: the cornea, a transparent, convex cover over the iris and pupil in front of the eye; the lens, a spherical body behind the cornea, and the vitreous humor, a gelatinous substance that fills the back of the eyeball. It is important that the rays be in sharp focus when they reach the retina, a sensory membrane that lines the back of the eye and acts like film in a camera. The retina converts the light rays into electrical signals that are sent to the brain by way of the optic nerve. The brain then translates these electrical signals into what we know as sight.

Refractive Errors. The most common vision disorders are refractive errors—specifically nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. In each case, the eye does not refract the incoming light properly, so the image is blurred. While they are not diseases, refractive errors affect every age range and comprise the largest treatment effort of ophthalmologists. Refractive errors can be successfully corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, and laser refractive surgery.

Cataract. A cataract results when the normally transparent lens of the eye clouds, blurring vision. Most cataracts are age-related, advancing slowly and progressively until functional blindness occurs. Cataract cannot be prevented or cured with medication or optical devices, but it can be successfully treated through a surgical procedure that removes the damaged, natural eye lens and replaces it with a permanent, intraocular lens implant. The procedure has over a 90 percent success rate. After refractive errors, cataract is the most common vision disorder.

Macular Degeneration. Located in the retina, the macula is responsible for central vision. When people have macular degeneration, they can no longer bring the center of the picture they see into focus. The most common type of the disease is age related, and there are two forms: “wet” and “dry.” Whereas the wet form comprises only about 10 percent of cases, it causes the greatest vision loss, striking quickly and without warning as a result of erupting blood vessels. The dry form is characterized by a slow, progressive loss of vision from the thinning and tearing of the macula. Although both forms are being extensively researched, definitive causes and treatments have not yet been identified. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in most developed countries.

Glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. If the aqueous humor (the clear fluid that fills the front of the eye) does not drain properly, intraocular pressure builds, damaging the optic nerve and causing blind spots to develop. When the entire nerve is destroyed, blindness results. If glaucoma is detected and treated in the early stages, loss of vision can be averted. However, the disease is chronic and cannot be cured or reversed. Unfortunately, the early stages are symptomless. Once symptoms occur, usually manifested by loss of peripheral or side vision, irreversible vision loss has already taken place. Treatment consists of medication and/or surgery, depending on the type of glaucoma, the patient’s medical history, and the stage of the disease. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness worldwide and the second-leading cause in developed countries.

Diabetic Retinopathy. Retinopathy is a side effect of diabetes and occurs as a result of fluctuations in the body’s blood sugar, a daily problem for diabetics. When blood sugar fluctuates over time, it affects the blood vessels in various parts of the body, including the retina of the eye, where the blood vessels can break and bleed, causing blurred vision. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher the risk of retinopathy; good diabetic control can forestall the disease, however. Signs of retinopathy often occur before symptoms appear. Treatment includes the use of laser photocoagulation to seal leaking blood vessels. Often undetected and untreated, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of visual disability among working-age people.

Retinal Degeneration. Retinal degeneration is an umbrella term for a number of hereditary and degenerative disorders that range from mild to profound vision loss and blindness. Retinitis pigmentosa is the most common type of retinal degeneration, affecting one in three thousand people. Its many forms have widely varied symptoms, and onset and progress of the disease can be slow or rapid. In general, symptoms occur in childhood or young adulthood. Patients complain of night blindness followed by loss of visual field. There is no treatment, though researchers are hopeful that genetic therapies may be possible in the future.

Strabismus. Unlike most other vision disorders, strabismus is a physical defect. One or both of the eyes are misaligned and point in different directions. One eye may look ahead while the other eye points up, down, in, or out. Strabismus is more common in children than in adults. In adults it can be a side effect of head trauma or brain disorder. Treatment may involve eyeglasses, an eye patch (in some cases), or surgery on the eye muscles.

Introducing – Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene is one of a group of natural chemicals known as carotenes or carotenoids. Carotenes are responsible for the orange color of many fruits and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.

Beta carotene is converted in the body to vitamin A. It is an antioxidant, like vitamins E and C.

Sources

Good sources of beta-carotene include dark green and orange-yellow vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, apricots, and green peppers.

Beta-carotene is not an essential nutrient, although vitamin A is.

Why Do People Use Beta-Carotene?

  • Prevention against cancer and heart disease
  • To slow the progression of cataracts
  • To prevent macular degeneration
  • To boost immunity
  • To protect the skin against sunburn
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Intermittent claudication

Safety

Beta carotene is relatively safe. There is some concern that high doses of beta-carotene can cause a slight increase in the risk of heart disease and cancer, especially in people who smoke cigarettes and who consume excessive alcohol.

Other side effects include diarrhea and a yellowish tinge to the skin, both of which subside then the intake of beta-carotene is lowered.

Communicating With Nature Makes You More Caring

ROCHESTER – Paying attention to Mother Nature not only feels good, it also makes you a better person, says a new study.

The study has been published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

“Stopping to experience our natural surroundings can have social as well as personal benefits,” says Richard Ryan, coauthor and professor of psychology, psychiatry and education at the University of Rochester.

While the salubrious effects of nature are well documented, from increasing happiness and physical health to lowering stress, this study shows that the benefits extend to a person’s values and actions.

Exposure to natural as opposed to man-made environments leads people to value community and close relationships and to be more generous with money, find Ryan and his team of researchers at the University of Rochester.

The paper includes four experiments in which 370 participants were exposed to either natural or man-made settings. Participants were encouraged to attend to their environments by noticing colors and textures and imagining sounds and smells.

In three of the studies, participants were shown a selection of four images on a 19 inch computer screen for two minutes each. Half of the subject viewed buildings, roads, and other cityscapes; the other half observed landscapes, lakes, and deserts. The urban and nature images were matched for color, complexity, layout, and lighting.

In a fourth study, participants were simply assigned at random to work in a lab with or without plants.

Participants then answered a questionnaire assessing the importance of four life aspirations: wealth and fame (”to be financially successful” and “to be admired by many people”) and connectedness and community (”to have deep enduring relationships” and “to work toward the betterment of society”).

Across all four studies, people exposed to natural elements rated close relationships and community higher than they had previously. The questionnaire also measured how immersed viewers were in their environments and found that the more deeply engaged subjects were with natural settings, the more they valued community and closeness. By contrast, the more intensely participants focused on artificial elements, the higher they rated wealth and fame.

To test generosity, two of the studies gave participants a 5-dollar prize with the instructions that the money could be kept or given to a second anonymous participant, who would then be given an additional 5-dollar. The second participant could choose to return the prize money or keep it. Thus, subjects had nothing to gain if they chose to trust the other participant, and risked losing their money.

The result revealed people who were in contact with nature were more willing to open their wallets and share. As with aspirations, the higher the immersion in nature, the more likely subjects were to be generous with their winnings.

Lead author Netta Weinstein says that the findings highlight the importance of creating green spaces in cities and have implication for planners and architects.