The Eyes Have It (Eye Health)

With age, more and eye problems can occur. You would have to bring that printed page closer to your face to read the text to decrease the blurring. As we struggled with this dilemma for the longest time, we finally realized that glasses may be the answer and a trip to the ophthalmologist may be in order. The responsibility therefore lies with the individual to monitor their eye health. Yearly eye examinations should be a part of every-ones list to do. As we age, there are many types of conditions that can occur. Early intervention can usually nip these conditions in the bud.

With age, more and eye problems can occur. The responsibility therefore lies with the individual to monitor their eye health. Yearly eye examinations should be a part of every-ones list to do. As we age, there are many types of conditions that can occur. Early intervention can usually nip these conditions in the bud.

The usual eye problems that you need to check for are:

Cataracts. These usually come on gradually placing a film over the lens of the eye, reducing the sharpness of the vision. As this film becomes more opaque, the vision becomes lessened and night driving may be severely impaired. The individual will usually ascertained that it is time for surgery to remove the cataracts.

Glaucoma. A more serious condition that if left untreated can lead to partial blindness. This condition impairs the central vision, interfering with reading, watching television, using a computer, etc. Lateral vision is still maintained. In glaucoma there is a build-up of fluid, causing pressure within the eye (intraocular). The sooner this condition is detected; the sooner treatment can be started. The ophthalmologist will prescribe eye drops that will help prevent and possibly reduce the fluid build-up. Some glaucoma's can be hereditary, so, if someone in your family has glaucoma, that would make it imperative that you get checked.

Excessive teasing of the eye or eyes. This is usually caused by a blockage of the draining tubes. In many instances the ophthalmologist can open these tubes to restore a proper drainage.

  1. Dry eye. In this instance the tear glands have lost their ability to produce a sufficient amount of fluid (tears). It causes several symptoms, such as grittiness, itching and a burning sensation. It can result in reduced vision as well. The ophthalmologist can recommend using artificial teardrops to lubricate the eyes.
  2. Macular degeneration. A hole in the macular causing a loss of peripheral vision. A very serious condition that necessitates intervention by an ophthalmologist who specializes in this condition. If not raised can cause blindness.
  3. Low vision. The vision present only allows the individual to make out shadows and light. There is usually no way to improve this condition, either with glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery. These individuals are usually considered to be legally blind.
  4. Type 2 diabetes can have a serious affect on the eyes. Everyone should be checked to see if they have diabetes. This condition may not cause any symptoms in the early stages. As the condition advances it can affect the eyes and can possibly lead to impaired vision or even blindness.

Prevention and interference of any of the above disorders is the best way to protect your eyes so that your eyesight will be clear and as sharp as humanly possible through the golden years. How best to achieve this is addressed in the Health Hints below.

Health Hints ***

Initially you need to safeguard your eyes against any and all environmental hazards, such as the following:

  1. Sunlight and its injurious ultraviolet rays. These rays not only cause injury to the eyes, but to the skin as well. Sunglasses that afford protection against ultraviolet rays should always be worn during daylight hours, even if the sun is behind clouds or there is snow on the ground. Wearing a hat will afford additional protection against the glare.
  2. Those that work in jobs that deal with chemicals, around machinery that cuts, grinds or blows dust must wear protective goggles at all times.
  3. Check your family history to see if there have been eye problems with other family members.
  4. And most importantly see your healthcare provider to check for diabetes.
  5. Have your eyes examined by a competent ophthalmologist at least once yearly. Should there be any symptoms beforehand, such as pain in the eyes, redness and swelling, fluid coming from the yes, double vision, or any impairment of vision, do not wait. Seek immediate advice from your healthcare provider.

The precedent precautions will protect your eyes from external injuries and other impairments. Now you have to give consideration to the internal forces that protect the eyes. Your diet will greatly impact your visual health. A healthy diet that includes generous portions of fruits and vegetables are extremely important. However, one should not rely on their diet alone for the necessary vitamins and minerals. Supplementation with the necessary vitamins and minerals are extremely important. The antioxidant vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene are most important, and zinc should be included as well. Lutein is a must and is now included in many multivitamins. The vitamin E and Lutein are particularly necessary for the protection of the blood vessels of the eyes and assists in the prevention of macular degeneration.

Another nutrient called Zeaxthin protects the rods and cones of the eye from Sun damage and can reduce the risk of macular degeneration. It is found in romaine lettuce, spinach and collard greens. Bilberry Extract is another important herb that will help in maintaining good eye health.

Eye problems do occur as a result of aging, however, we can take steps to maintain good vision by following the protective steps and dietary steps as outlined above.