Saturday, October 25, 2014

How to Deal with Age-Related Eye Problems

Aging may cause common eye problems, which are related to how your eyes are shaped and which accordingly affect how you focus with your eyes.

These common problems include nearsightedness (an eye condition in which your eyeball is too long, such that light rays fall short of achieving a point of focus on your retina, which is the sensory membrane at the back of the eye), farsightedness (also known as hyperopia, a condition in which you can see distant objects very well, but have difficulty focusing on objects that are up close), and astigmatism (a condition in which your eyes have an irregular shape, causing light rays entering your eyes to split into different points of focus, and thus resulting in blurry vision).

When you "exercise" your eyes, you move your eye muscles to create up-and-down, side-to-side or circular motion. These movements "work" the muscles controlling back-and-forth movement of your eye's natural lens, to help achieve sight at multiple distances.  In addition, eye exercise can change the basic shape of your cornea, thereby instrumental in changing the angle of light entering your eyes for better and more correct focus.

Macular degeneration is another serious eye problem affecting as many as 30 million Americans aged 65 and above. If you are 65, you have 25 percent of developing macular degeneration; and your risk increases to 30 percent if you are over 75. 
The macula is a small central part of the retina that enables detailed vision. As such, it is critical to your vision health. Unfortunately, the macula may degenerate due to various reasons, such as heredity, hypertension, high cholesterol, sun damage, and smoking. Macular degeneration is a slow, progressive disease that affects both eyes, typically one after the other. Due to its slow development, macular degeneration may take years to become noticeable. By the time you notice it, the onset is already well underway. Therefore, prevention is always better than cure. Vision health is an important component of self-healing of the eye.

Like many other diseases, macular degeneration can be treated with high doses of antioxidants and minerals. With the exception of vitamin D from sunlight, your body does not make your own vitamins and minerals; they must be obtained from your diet. Antioxidants and vitamins and minerals are critical to vision health in preventing and treating generative diseases, such as macular degeneration. You need high doses of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. Nutritional therapy is an important component of natural self-healing and vision health. Beta-carotene facilitates your body to convert plants into vitamin A, thereby instrumental in boosting normal cell reproduction in the eye, protecting the eye from free radicals, and enhancing night vision, Vitamin C is an important immune system booster, and an agent for making collagen to maintain healthy blood vessels in the eye. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant to protect cell membranes. Zinc is a mineral required by more than 300 enzymes to repair wounds, to optimize vision health, and to protect the eye from free radicals. 

Nutritional therapy also includes supplements of lutein, Taurine, DHA, and ginkgo biloba. Lutein is a carotenoid found in vegetables and fruits, such as collard greens, kale, and spinach. Lutein promotes vision health through its potent antioxidant properties. Taurine transports nutrients to the eye as well as eliminates toxic accumulation in the eye; it promotes retinal health and night vision. DHA, which is an essential Omega-3 fatty acid, enhances the development of the retina. Ginkgo biloba is an ancient Chinese herb for vision health.

Natural physical health requires exercise and nutrition; by the same token, your natural vision health also requires regular eye exercises and nutritional therapy to maintain and sustain its quality.

Stephen Lau
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