Long term vi­sion

Nu­tri­tion for your eyes

Element - - Contents - By Lani Lopez Lani Lopez BHSC Ad­vdip­nathealth is a Natur­opath, Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion­ist and top-sell­ing au­thor. Founder of lanilopez.com find her and talk well­be­ing on face­book.com/lanilopez.com

The most com­mon eye con­di­tion is Age-re­lated Mac­u­lar De­gen­er­a­tion (AMD) af­fect­ing around 30 mil­lion world­wide, with 25% of peo­ple aged over 70 years af­fected. AMD doesn’t cause to­tal blind­ness but brings sig­nif­i­cant daily im­pair­ment, rob­bing the suf­ferer of cen­tral vi­sion and tak­ing with it qual­ity and en­joy­ment of life.

AMD is most com­mon among peo­ple of Euro­pean de­scent, with those at par­tic­u­lar risk be­ing adults with: di­a­betes, un­con­trolled high blood pres­sure, fam­ily his­tory of AMD, di­ges­tive dif­fi­cul­ties and com­pro­mised im­mune sys­tem.

There is no cur­rent cure or treat­ment for AMD and most med­i­cal ad­vice on the con­di­tion comes pack­aged with in­for­ma­tion on how to cope with pro­gres­sive vi­sion loss and the de­pres­sion that ha­bit­u­ally ac­com­pa­nies it. We can con­sider our­selves pre-warned and hope­fully mo­ti­vated to take ac­tion and im­ple­ment the only cure: preven­tion.

Re­mov­ing Risk Fac­tors

On­go­ing eye-health takes sim­ple steps to sup­port gen­eral good health and well­be­ing with some spe­cific sup­ple­men­ta­tion from age 60 on. It comes down to two ar­eas: nu­tri­tion and life­style.

The eas­i­est risk fac­tor to re­move is smok­ing, which in­creases the risk of AMD by 200-300%. Ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tors in AMD in­clude some pre­scrip­tion drugs. If you are con­sis­tently pre­scribed non-steroidal anti-in­flam­ma­tory (NSAI) drugs, dis­cuss this with your doc­tor and en­sure that from age 50 on­wards you have reg­u­lar eye ex­ams, look­ing for early signs and pre­cur­sors of AMD in­clud­ing fine drusen (yel­low or white residue) and mild pig­ment changes.

Grow­ing ev­i­dence links AMD and heart risk fac­tors like obe­sity, hy­per­ten­sion, di­a­betes, and choles­terol. Tar­get these with diet (see be­low) and es­pe­cially with ha­bit­ual ex­er­cise. Do at least 20 min­utes aer­o­bic ex­er­cise daily. Walk­ing and swim­ming are low-im­pact and ef­fec­tive.

Take sun pro­tec­tion, wear blue-block­ing sun­glasses and hats that shade the eyes in bright con­di­tions.

Nu­tri­tion is nec­es­sary

dis­or­ders). There is a grow­ing aware­ness of the link with eye health.

Nat­u­ral health prac­ti­tion­ers have long linked the eyes with the healthy func­tion of our in­ter­nal or­gans (in tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine for thou­sands of years). This link is in­creas­ingly recog­nised in more re­cent phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal-based medicine.

Suf­fer­ers of mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion lack nu­tri­ents es­sen­tial to eye health: an­tiox­i­dants, se­le­nium, es­sen­tial fatty acids, lutein and zeax­an­thin (both from beta carotene and vi­ta­min A), bioflavenoids, zinc, tau­rine, and vi­ta­min B-com­plex.

Natur­opaths rec­om­mend a diet rich in spe­cific fresh fruits, (see break out boxes, right) green leafy veg­eta­bles and oily fish for eye health, sup­ported by sup­ple­men­ta­tion. The AMDF (Amer­i­can Mac­u­lar De­gen­er­a­tion Fed­er­a­tion) too sug­gests spe­cific foods (see break-out box).

Al­ter­na­tive Strate­gies

In the US Dr. Fred Lisanti of In­te­grated Med­i­cal So­lu­tions in New York and Dr. Ed­ward Kon­drot, board cer­ti­fied oph­thal­mol­o­gist and di­rec­tor of The Heal­ing Eye and Well­ness Cen­ter in Ari­zona, have claimed suc­cess with home­o­pathic treat­ments.

Dr. Fred Lisanti pro­motes “a mul­ti­level pro­gram start­ing with very sub­tle cell salt reme­dies. These are of­ten in­gested sub­lin­gually, taste­lessly dis­solved.” Spe­cific cell salts he sug­gests could be help­ful: Calc flu­o­r­ica, Calc phos­phoric, Kali phos­phoric and Na­trum muri­aticum. These are avail­able from your natur­opath or home­opath.

Suf­fer­ers of mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion lack

nu­tri­ents es­sen­tial to eye health

Poor di­ges­tion and the in­abil­ity to ab­sorb needed nu­tri­ents has been iden­ti­fied in two ear­lier El­e­ment ar­ti­cles (bone health and bowel

See­ing a Healthy Fu­ture

There are eye ex­er­cises we should all do that help main­tain good clear vi­sion, re­store some im­pair­ment and can give vi­tal in­di­ca­tors of early stages in eye con­di­tions. I out­line these in the next El­e­ment news­let­ter, so get on­line and sign up.

Eye health is pre­cious and not guar­an­teed but ad­just­ing your life­style and diet to in­clude these sim­ple pre­ven­tive mea­sures makes all the dif­fer­ence. If you recog­nise any of the risk fac­tors and are over 50 get a spe­cific AMD eye check and dis­cuss this con­di­tion with your GP.

Take ac­tion now to see your way to a brighter fu­ture.



mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion

mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion

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