Fit Food & Vitamins for Your Vision

A new year is here and many of us are thinking of ways to stay fit by means of exercise and healthy eating. We can also improve our vision health by eating better and getting the right amount of vitamins daily. There are several foods we eat every day that can improve your overall eye health. Vitamins like Riboflavin, Vitamin D, and even Vitamin K can help your vision as well.
Foods High in Essential Vitamins

Vitamin D: Remembering that you need a daily allowance of 600IU daily, consider eating the below foods.

• Fatty Fish
• Mushrooms
• Whole Grain Cereals
• Tofu

Riboflavin or (Vitamin B2): The average person needs at least 1.7MG of Riboflavin on a daily basis to maintain proper eye health and improve metabolism. There are injections which can help supplement this vitamin, however, eating them in your diet naturally is a better source. You can find Riboflavin in:

• Cheese
• Almonds
• Beef & Lamb
• Eggs

Vitamin K: The recommended daily allotment of Vitamin K is 80MG. Vitamin K has antioxidants that can help with age-related eye conditions over time protecting your eyes. Below are a few food items that contain Vitamin K.

• Green Leafy Vegetables
• Herbs (Basil)
• Chili Powder
• Asparagus
• Okra

For more information on vitamins that protect your eye health contact your eye care professionals or visit www.ioptimalhealth.com

Understanding Dry Eye During the Spring and Summer Months

Do you suffer from dry, itchy and/or red eyes? Has your eye care professional told you that you have Chronic Dry Eye? If you’ve already been diagnosed with Dry Eye, the spring and summer months can be especially troubling.

There are several reasons Dry Eye can be affecting you worse in the hot spring and summer months than in the colder winter months.

Below are a few reasons Dry Eye increases:

Exposure to Sunlight – For those who are active, dry eyes can be especially troubling in the spring and summer due to excessive exposure to sunlight without the proper eye protection. Continued exposure to sunlight can cause more difficulty with vision because the tear film can evaporate more quickly.

Environmental Exposures – With warmer weather, often we go outside more. Outside elements can also cause more problems in the spring and summer months because of decreased tear film.

Less Blinking – When we blink we essentially help the tear film cover the eyes. If we blink less, we have less tears covering the eyes.
There are new treatment options available to help those with chronic Dry Eye.

One such treatment for dry eyes is LipiFlow®.

What is Lipiflow®?

The new treatment LipiFlow® uses specialized goggles and heat to help unclog the Meibomian glands within the eyelids. Typically there are between 30-40 Meibomian glands that produce oils which help tears from evaporating off the eyes. Depending on how many are clogged upon evaluation will help determine if you are a good candidate for the LipiFlow® procedure.

Learn more about treating your dry eyes:

The Doctor’s Orders To A Successful Valentine’s Day

As a kid I loved getting all those hand-cut, pastel cardboard Valentine’s Day cards from my classmates. Didn’t you love that? It put a big smile on my face, especially when I got a card from Leisl Herman, who I had a crush on. Somewhere between 5th grade and college the teachers sadly dropped that activity. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably no longer in grade school getting those warm, fuzzy valentines with the heart shaped crunchy candies. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun and smile around February 14th.
Get your smile ready. Did you ever think that I would also be a poet? This limerick for Valentine’s Day just popped in my head when I was working out. I had a wee bit of expert refinement from Pat Myers, “Empress of the Style Invitational” at the Washington Post.

There was a lass with eyes of blue –
Word spread of her dazzling hue!
At times she was taken,
True love was forsaken,
Now wiser, she seeks serious woo.

 Now that I’ve got you smiling, be sure to spread the smiles. Wish someone, anyone, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” Even better, then give ‘em a good hug. Hugs are good for your health. It’s all about human touch. In medical school I learned of a study that found heart attack patient survival in the intensive care unit was higher in in the group where the nurse held the patients’ hand vs. no hand holding. So hug away on Valentine’s Day!

Another prescription that I can offer is to have some dark chocolate – 100% guilt-free. There are health benefits to the melt-in-your-mouth stuff too:

1. Enhance Eyesight
2. Lower Blood Pressure
3. Reduce Stress
4. Lessens Risk of Heart Failure
5. Provide Sun Protection
6. Access Higher Intelligence
7. Deliver Powerful Antioxidants

 

Have a wonderful day filled with love, poems and, of course…dark chocolate!

A Guide to Cataracts & Treatment Options

For those who have a family history of Cataracts and know what the progression of this is like, you understand that Cataracts can cause problems within everyday activities and over time your vision can become severely compromised.

A Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which causes distortions in the patient’s vision over time. Cataracts are a progressive condition that cause severe complications in daily vision. For those who have conditions such as diabetes and even heart disease, the condition can progress faster causing a need for earlier surgery.

F.A.Q. on Cataracts

  • What are the main types of Cataract?

Age related – Cataracts are most often caused by aging. This is the most common form of Cataract.
Traumatic Cataract – Due to eye injuries
Secondary Cataracts – Caused by those with Diabetes, Glaucoma, and even Steroid uses

  •  What are the Risk Factors of Cataracts?

There are several risk factors for Cataracts.

• Smoking & Alcohol usage
• Prolonged exposure to sunlight
• Conditions such as Diabetes, and other eye conditions

If you think that you have any risk factors asking your eye care professional will give you a heads up on detecting it early.

  • What are Treatments for Cataracts?

There are several treatment options for those with Cataracts. While surgery is the primary treatment for Cataracts, there are several treatments that can help as the condition progresses. You should know, cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed every day in the world and is relatively safe an easy 20 minute procedure.

• Change of Prescriptions
• Anti-glare Sunglasses
• Magnifying lenses
• Artificial lenses
• Surgery – Phoacoemulsification (Phaco AKA Small incision)

Watch an informative overview of Cataract procedures below:

Top 4 Tips to Evaluate Your Babies Eyes

Do you have a family history of vision problems? Are you unsure how to tell if your child is seeing right? This is a common problem which both new and experienced parents are faced with since babies can’t understand what they are seeing may not be how the image really looks.

Babies are very resilient and can adapt to handle their surroundings but there are some ways to tell if an exam is needed for your child. Eye care professionals can often start what is called a baseline eye exam as early as 6 months, and even detect problems with their vision this early.

Below you will find a few helpful hints to determine if your child needs a vision screening:

Family History – One of the most important things to know is the family history of both parents. If one or both parents have hereditary eye conditions or visual problems, a screening should be done when your child becomes old enough. This screening should be repeated every 2 years thereafter, unless the child is found to have a chronic or progressive eye problem that requires annual visits.

Hand- Eye Coordination – When your child reaches for a bottle or toy do they need a few tries to get it right? This may seem cute, but it can also indicate that the child is not seeing the image right. Sometimes we think it’s because they are learning and developing, and it could be in some cases, however it may be because they are having difficulty seeing what’s in front of them.

Straining & Squinting – On occasion a child may squint their eyes when looking at something, a squint with a smile maybe nothing to worry about but if you are noticing this frequently it may be a problem. Having their eyes examined may be necessary as they could be straining to see.

Clumsiness – Do you think your child is a bit clumsy? Do they frequently bump into things? This is a classic sign of struggling with depth perception. While it could just be them learning to walk or get around, you should take them in for an eye exam. It won’t hurt and it could help them greatly in the future.

Our children’s vision is important and unfortunately it often goes unchecked until their school years when more symptoms show up. Keep in mind that early detection is not just an adult concept. Finding eye conditions early can help with treatment options and best quality of vision.

To learn more about the benefits of annual eye exams, watch below.

What Eye Conditions Could I Possibly be at Risk to Develop?

With so many eye conditions out there, examining your family history should be your first step to find out which you might be at risk for. You can be at higher risk for several of these conditions through injury, environmental exposure, and a positive family history. For those patients concerned, the highest development of many eye conditions is related to the genetic component, so reviewing family history is very important.
Below are a few common conditions to be aware of:
Cataracts
Cataracts are a condition that clouds the natural lens of the eye and progresses over time. For those who have already experienced it, they know that it typically progresses over years and eventually will require surgery. Generally the main treatment option is Cataract extraction surgery, which requires the natural lens to be removed and replaced with an artificial lens. In many cases, a prescription lens can be used to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses.
Astigmatism
Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of the eye. This often develops as a child or can be incurred by injury to the eyes. Astigmatism now has many great treatment options. Some well-known procedures to help improve astigmatism are LASIK, PRK, and ICL.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related Macular Degeneration (also known as AMD) often occurs when the macula is damaged. How fast it progresses is dependent on the individual’s history and the cause of the AMD. A few symptoms of AMD you should watch for are:
• Blurred vision in the center of your vision field
• Blank spots in your vision
• Distortion of vision

Keratoconus
Keratoconus is another progressive condition that causes vision loss over time. Keratoconus is a thinning of the cornea which causes difficulties with vision by creating distortion. It can cause you to change your daily habits, including being able to see to drive at night, and can require a cornea transplant if not treated in a timely manner.
The best way to avoid these conditions, or to be proactive in their treatment, is to have regular exams for screening.

For some other eyes tips on eye conditions to watch for, watch below:

Tips for Taking Care of Your Vision During Baseball Season

Since baseball is an American pastime, many individuals play and they need to protect more than just their throwing arm. Maintaining the quality of vision when doing activities, including baseball, is extremely important. In fact over 90% of all eye injuries can be prevented with a little attention and research. Below are some tips to help you maintain your vision throughout the sports season.

Find the Right Eye Care Professional:

When it comes to eye care, the most important aspect is to have an eye care team that has experience in vision care and you can trust,. One way to determine if they are a good fit is by doing a little research. You can then decide if they have the right in eye health.

Questions you should ask yourself when deciding:
• Do they have the right education?
• Are they experienced in a wide variety of eye conditions?
• How do you feel when you walk in their office?
• Are you comfortable with their team (staff)?
• Do they explain things to you in a way you understand?

Once you have established a good eye care team, the most important way to take care of your vision is to have an eye exam every 1-2 years. Generally an exam every 2 years is enough, but if you have a family history of eye issues or are active in activities it should be annually. This will help your doctor detect eye conditions early and other health problems that can affect your activity in the future.

Additionally, there are several supplements that can help support good vision health. While there are a lot of foods that can improve your vision, an added supplement is also helpful. For those who have an active life it is good to find the right supplement(s) to support healthy eyes and vision.

Most patients with eye-related conditions are diagnosed between 15-25 years of age. This is often in an athlete’s prime years. Both nearsighted and farsighted vision is required to properly play the game.

Below are some of the most common sports related eye injuries each year:
 Detached Retinas
 Corneal Lacerations
 Hemorrhages
 Eye loss

For more information regarding how to protect your eyes during sports season, click below.

How Vitamins Can Help Your Vision

When we think of vitamins in our regular diet quite often Vitamin C or D, even Vitamin E come to mind. Riboflavin & Niacin also known as Vitamin B2 & B3, are other vitamins you should have in adequate supply for eye health.

Riboflavin and Niacin provides our bodies with lots of needed anti-oxidants, which are especially, important for the eyes. Anti-oxidants help to fight free radicals with may reduce and prevent damage to the eye. It is believed the Riboflavin (B2) and Niacin (B3) may help prevent or delay development of cataracts. Research is showing that anti-oxidants can lower your risk for getting cataracts before age 70 by over 40%.

You may have heard that Lutein & Zeaxanthin are anti-oxidants that also are essential for the eyes, they are found directly in the eyes natural lens.

There are several foods that contain Riboflavin (B2) and Niacin (B3), which are essential to the eyes, below are a few to add to your diet.

Riboflavin (B2):

Yogurt
Milk (Fat free & 1%)
Mushrooms
Eggs
Spinach
Coffee

Niacin (B3):

Tuna
Lean Beef
Lamb
Mushrooms
Kidney Beans

Another benefit of Niacin is that it has been known to promote good cholesterol, lower your inflammation for those who suffer from arthritis, or inflammation of the eyes, dry eyes, or even red eyes.

Anti-oxidants are an amazing natural supplement that can improve the way your body feels day to day and the way it will act in the future.

If you are looking for a regimen that can help you protect your eyes there are several supplements that can support your bodies vitamin uptake. For more information regarding specific Vitamins for eye health ask your eye care professional or visit www.IOptimalHealth.com.

What Do You Know About Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?

Discovering How to Treat it 

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction is a blockage of your meibomian gland, which are located in the lower and upper eyelids near the eyelash line.

There are several causes for dry eyes which give the patient the feeling of gritty eyes, irritation, and dryness. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction is one such cause of dry eyes and can cause inflammation of the eye and eyelid.

Are you affected by dry eyes on a daily basis?

Have tried other treatments, such as over the counter drops, artificial tears, prescriptions, or other treatments which have not worked?

LipiFlow® may help provide relief by removing the blockage of the Meibomian Glands.  When the glands are properly function this can help reduce constant redness, itching, scratchiness, dryness and even the inflammation of the eyelids.

Dry Eye Symptoms from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction:

  • Scratchy Sensation
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Excessive eye rubbing
  • Redness in eye
  • Excessive tearing
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Dryness
  • Crusting around eyelids

The LipiFlow® Procedure:

There are several things we take for granted in life. Often we don’t think about how many times a day we blink until there is a problem. Lipiflow provides patients with relief from dry eyes. These allows many suffering the ability to be active, and enjoy life without a lot of worry of dry or irritated eyes slowing them down. The procedure is a quick spa-like 12-minute treatment performed in the comfort of your eye doctor’s office. Most patients descript the treatment as soothing and pain-free.

How does LipiFlow® work?

The device is placed around your eyelids. The device warms and massages your eyelids causing the blocked oil to liquefy. Then a slight suction and pressure will removed the liquefied oils that were once blocking the glands. Now the glands will properly function to produce oils to help improve your tear film of your eye and help your eyes feel moister. The treatment is yielding great results by providing patients with improved daily life, their ability to participate in outdoor activities again, and reduced the amount of drops needed daily to live comfortably.

If you are looking for a great way to improve your overall eye health and struggle with dry eyes daily, try Lipiflow ®. After all it could improve your life.

Listen to Diana’s experience with LipiFlow ®