Friday, July 4, 2014


If we are lucky enough when young to have healthy eyes, we need to ensure their continuing good health through the decades. But unfortunately aside from annual exams and maybe glasses, most people do little else for their eyes.
I became aware of what could be ahead for my eyes during my 30's and 40's while helping my father deal with eye problems in his 70's and 80's. His vision started to become impaired by cataracts and he eventually needed lens replacement in both eyes. But the seriousness of glaucoma was also to be dealt with using prescription eye drops which had side effects. Added to this was advancing macular degeneration and at the time, there was nothing to help halt or reverse it. His eyesight continued to deteriorate for both distance and closeup. No eye glass prescriptions could compensate for what was happening and the situation led to his frequent depression.
As a child I didn't need glasses but struggled with "allergy eyes". While I had and still have allergies all year long, certain times of the year were and still are much worse for my eyes. The itching, irritation and tearing are so difficult  to deal with. I tried all the typical over-the-counter and prescription eye drops. But nothing ever really eliminated the symptoms for any length of time. By my late 30's I needed glasses for distance vision, closeup was still very good. I finally gave in to buying the glasses in my early 40's. During a routine eye exam in my mid 40's, I was told I had "baby cataracts. Now it was time to become proactive and not do the "wait and see" routine. This coincided with my desire for a holistic approach to my health issues.

Doing some research on the internet, radio shows and books led me to start taking supplements for my eyes that I still take today. A good blend of vitamins, minerals and herbs that helps to nourish and support the eyes is Opti-Vue from the Vitamin Shoppe. It contains two very important ingredients lutein and zeaxanthin, both derived from marigolds. Two Nature's Way products I use are Nature's Way Eyebright Herb, good for irritation and eyestrain and Nature's Way Bilberry, useful for night blindness, cataracts and may help halt or prevent macular degeneration. The Co Q10 I started taking for other problems is also very beneficial in protecting the eyes from macular degeneration. I became more vigilant with the use of sun glasses too. My next eye exam was two years later and there was no evidence at all of "baby cataracts"! My prescription for distance glasses never needed to be improved on. In fact, in my late 50's, I noticed things looked more blurry with the glasses on. An eye exam concluded I no longer needed the prescription glasses! I don't know if the shape of my eye changed and made the difference or the supplements did it. For closeup work I use a very mild magnification in glasses and can read without them. It also became obvious to me not to schedule an eye exam from mid spring to early fall as that is when my eyes are most subject to irritation, itching and being blurry.
When my eyes are slightly irritated and/or tired I like using BOIRON Optique 1 Eye Drops and Natures Tears EyeMist. For itching and irritation, Similasan Irritated Eye Relief or Allergy Eye Relief usually calm things down. A cool, wet cloth often brings quick relief too. There is a great section on eye health and conditions in "Prescription for Nutritional Healing". 
Never underestimate the positive effect a healthy diet and supplements have on your eye health. I am hoping to continue "seeing" the good results.

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I am not a doctor and do not claim to be one. These are just my experiences and conclusions. 
© 2014 


clara william said...

Thank you for your articles that you have shared with us. Hopefully you can give the article a good benefit to us.
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