Diet, Nutrition, and Eye Health

Eating Right For Your Sight

Diet and nutrition is crucial for optimal health. A healthy diet can also contribute to proper eye health. According to new research, antioxidants and other vitamins and nutrients can help lessen the risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration.

Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamins

Vitamins can play various roles in assisting with eye health. They can lower your risk for various ailments and make your vision the best it can be. The following vitamins specifically help with eye health.

  • Vitamin A is a vitamin that is essential in helping protect against blindness.
  • Vitamin C isn’t just effective for your colds – it can also prevent or alleviate glaucoma.
  • Omega-3 can give you major brain power, but it also reduces dry eyes symptoms and lowers the risk of macular damage.
  • Beta-carotene can prevent macular degeneration, but it needs to be taken with zinc, as well as vitamins C and E.
  • Bioflavonoids (Flavonoids): These vitamins are crucial in the fighting of cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin: These nutrients also prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

You are What You Eat

Taking vitamins will benefit your eye health, but it is also important to note what you are eating and to choose the right foods for eye health. Eating right leads to good heart health, but affects all areas of the body as well. It is recommended to consume a low-fat diet, and one full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens, such as kale, are high in the aforementioned nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin. According to a recent study, women who had a diet higher in lutein were 23% less likely to develop cataracts. If kale doesn’t float your boat, there are other leafy green vegetables that will give you your dose of lutein. These include spinach, collard greens, turnips, and romaine lettuce. Peas, corn, broccoli, and eggs also contain many of these nutrients.

Orange Fruits and Vegetables

We’ve all heard that carrots can help you see better, and they are still proven to do so. This is because they are high in beta-carotene, which also helps with night vision. However, carrots aren’t the only food that contain beta-carotene – many other orange colored fruits and vegetables do as well, such as sweet potatoes, apricots, and cantaloupe.

In addition, oranges themselves – and their citrus relatives like grapefruit, tangerines, and lemons – contain vitamin C, which assists with eye health. It has also been discovered by scientists that your eyes need a high level of vitamin C in order to function at their best. Other fruits and veggies that contain vitamin C include red peppers, tomatoes, peaches, and strawberries.

Fish

There are some studies that have suggested a link between omega-3 fatty acid and optimal eye health. You can find this nutrient in fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and halibut. As a result, your risk of developing various eye diseases down the line will become dramatically reduced.

Legumes

Legumes are a healthy addition to any diet. They are especially impactful when it comes to eye health because they contain the mineral zinc, which can help protect your eyes from the sunlight. Legumes containing a high amount of zinc include black-eyed peas, lima beans, kidney beans, and peanuts. There are other foods containing zinc such as lean red meat, oysters, poultry, and certain cereals.

We hope these tips will help keep our patients happy and healthy! If you have any concerns about possible eye health issues affecting you, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Ghosheh and his team at Advanced Eye Medical Group.

Home Remedies for Dry Eyes

Possible Home Remedies for Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are a common discomfort that many face on a daily basis. While there are medications to address the problem, they can be expensive and may not always work in the long-term. Dry eyes are also persistent in that they tend to return again and again.

If you suffer from dry eyes but are reluctant to seek medication, consider these home remedies for eye relief on your own terms:

Apply a compress

One of the best ways to ease the pain and itching of dry eyes is to apply a compress to the eyelids and lay down. Most use hot compresses to clear the eyes and to ease any discomfort they are experiencing. You can purchase a hot compress at your local pharmacy, or make your own with a warm washcloth. A compress can also help unplug any tear ducts that may be blocked.

Clean your eyelids

Dirty eyelids can also contribute to the persistence of dry eyes. Try washing your eyelids with a mild soap as an extra precaution to prevent any dust from falling into your eyes. Gently clean your eyelashes with the tips of your fingers to prevent dust from falling into your tear ducts when you blink.

Remember to blink

One of the main causes of dry eyes is not blinking enough. While your blinking habits are largely involuntary, it is necessary to ensure that you are blinking enough to create sufficient moisture in your eyes to remedy the pain and itchiness. It’s a simple but powerfully effective trick. Be sure to blink more when you are watching TV, reading, or using a computer, since these activities often result in your eyes becoming dry.

Wear the right glasses

Protecting your eyes is incredibly important, and the right pair of glasses can make all the difference when dealing with dry eyes. You’ll want to have a prescription pair before using any device with a screen, in addition to a good pair of sunglasses with UV protection to keep your eyes safe from sun damage. Finding a quality pair of glasses may be expensive at first, but consider it an investment in your overall eye health and comfort.

Schedule an Eye Exam with Dr. Ghosheh

These tips may seem like small life adjustments, but they are simple and effective steps to save your eyes from unnecessary strain and discomfort caused by dryness. If you struggle with chronic dry eyes, schedule an eye exam with Dr. Ghosheh today to determine the underlying issue. For this and all other eye health concerns, contact the eye specialists at Advanced Eye Medical Group.

Treating Eyes Affected by Allergies

Allergies and Your Eyes

Eye allergies often occur in cases of seasonal allergies. If red, itchy, watery eyes and swollen eyelids accompany sneezing and a runny nose, you may be experiencing eye allergies.

In some instances, eye allergies can cause pink eye or conjunctivitis and other eye infections.

Causes of Eye Allergies

The substance that a person is allergic to is known as an allergen. These are usually innocuous substances that the body mistakes for toxins and in turn produces histamines. Histamines are the leading cause in allergic reactions. Pollen, mold, dust and pet dander are the most common causes for eye allergies, as they are airborne.

Food allergies and insect bites/bee stings are not usually detrimental to the eyes and do not generally cause eye allergies.

Relieving Your Symptoms

If you need relief from your itchy, watery or swollen eyes, you should avoid allergens, remove your contacts (if you are a contact lens wearer), and make use of eye drops and medication, both over the counter and prescription depending on your doctor’s recommendation.

The best defense against eye allergies is to simply limit your exposure to the substance that triggers your symptoms. Do everything possible to protect yourself from the offending substance (for example, check the pollen count during allergy season or wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from the allergen).

The surfaces of contact lenses can attract airborne allergens. Consider using standard eyeglasses during allergy season if you have what is known as hay fever (seasonal allergies).

Over the counter allergy eye drops are available to ease the symptoms of eye allergies. This is because eye allergies are relatively common and certainly unpleasant, so if you need relief from your watery, itchy eyes you may be able to simply use eye drops from your local pharmacy. Ask your doctor what eye drops or medication is right for you. If your symptoms are more severe, you may need to consider prescription medication.

If your symptoms are severe and your doctor sees fit, they may want to prescribe medication for your eye allergies. These medications come in both eye drop and oral forms. Some of the medications available are antihistamines, decongestants, mast cell stabilizers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and steroids.

Antihistamines act to block the receptors that histamines bind to when you come in contact with an allergen. These medications work better as preventative medications than after the fact. Antihistamines relieve the runny nose and itchy, watery eyes produced by allergies.

Decongestants work to lessen the swollen nasal passages and increase airflow through the nasal passages so you can breathe easier. Additionally, red eyes are relieved by decongestants by reducing the size of the blood vessels on the white of the eye. There are combination antihistamine/decongestant drugs available. Their brand name usually ends with “-D.”

Mast cell stabilizers change the mast cells and prevent them from releasing histamine and any related secretion in allergic reactions. It may take a few weeks for the complete effect of this type of medication to become apparent. Because of this, it may be better to use mast cell stabilizers as a preventative measure for allergy season.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, come in eye drops that may be prescribed to reduce swelling, inflammation and other symptoms that accompany seasonal allergies, or hay fever.

In very severe cases, corticosteroids may be prescribed; however, there are potential side effects from prolonged use such as high eye pressure, glaucoma and cataracts. Because of this, they are typically prescribed for a short duration of time.

There is also a treatment known as immunotherapy in which an allergist injects the patient with small amounts of the substance they are allergic to, and subsequently more amounts until the immune system builds up a tolerance for the allergen.

Consult Your Doctor

If you have eye allergies, itchy, red, watery eyes or swollen eyelids and need relief may trouble you. Talk to your doctor today about what option may be right for you and your symptoms. Schedule a visit with Dr. Ghosheh of Laser for Eyes to discuss your treatment options for your eye allergies. If you have further questions, take a look at Dr. Ghosheh’s medical blog for further information on eye allergies and other eye conditions.