How to Protect your Eyes
October 2007, Warren Matthews
Most of us take our eyesight for granted, until it starts to fail. Like a rolling stone down a hill once it starts to roll it gathers momentum!
My father in law is 91 years of age. He has enjoyed good health most of his life up until he was about 80 and even since then it has been pretty good compared to most. No doubt a factor in his good health has been due to him being a keen gardener and up until recently grew all his own organic vegetables.
BUT, about a year ago his eyesight started to fail, and he is now blind!
Pretty traumatic going into a world of darkness after 90 years of light! He can no longer read, watch TV and of course he cannot drive any more. As a result his quality of life has taken a dramatic downturn and he says he is now ready to ‘move on’ as he feels he has had a good life and has no regrets. It’s likely that this will not be to far away as once the will to live goes, the body starts shutting down and that is happening to him now.
I often reflect on his situation and in particular his blindness. Could it have been prevented? Knowing what I know now I can confident that the answer to this is yes. Unfortunately, when my son and I founded Xtend-Life eight years ago my knowledge about these things was pretty minimal.
My father in law was also being prescribed a number of drugs back then by his Doctor but I was not knowledgeable enough at that time to debate the merits or otherwise of what he was taking. I do know that some of the drugs had potential interactions with our Total Balance and as such he never got to experience the benefits that this supplement could have given him.
I have since learnt that the long term side effects of the drugs may have been one of the contributors to his current state of blindness. Hindsight of course is a wonderful thing but it often only comes with knowledge accumulated in the intervening period. For example, prescription drugs killed my Mother at 89…but…that is another story and one which I could have prevented had I known some years before she died what I know now.
It is of course too late to help my Mum or my father in law, or indeed if I go further back to before my Dad died, I could include him as well. But, it is not to late to help other people who are at a stage in their lives where these degenerative diseases are still latent and can be kept latent…IF, appropriate steps are taken early enough.
Because I don’t want to turn this article into a book I will just focus the rest of it on the eyes because this is what prompted the article in the first place.
It’s not to late for most of us!
Most of us take our eyesight for granted, until it starts to fail. Like a rolling stone down a hill once it starts to roll it gathers momentum! The same principles apply to degenerative diseases…once they are diagnosed they are hard to stop, but they can often be slowed down. The key though is to try and stop it getting to the point that they are advanced enough to be diagnosed.
Remember that just because you have not been diagnosed with a particular ailment such as cancer or an eye disease does not mean that you don’t have it. In fact, cancers are within all of us to a lesser or greater degree.
Your eyes are in a constant state of degeneration. The rate at which that takes place is dependent upon the amount of ammunition your body has to fight the degeneration. In our younger years there is usually enough basic ammunition to keep the rate of degeneration quite slow. But, as the years move on not only is the intake of nutrients (ammunition) reduced, but also the UPTAKE of these nutrients is greatly reduced by less effective digestive systems and lack of essential enzymes.
Evidence of this is in the amount of eye diseases present in the population. Consider these facts:
- 45 million people worldwide are blind; 135 million have impaired vision. (American Academy of Ophthalmology, AAO).
- Every 5 seconds 1 person goes blind; 1 child goes blind every minute (AAO). More than 1.5 million of these are due to various nutritional deficiencies, or unnecessary infections.
- Unless preventative action is taken 100 million people will lose their sight unnecessarily by 2020. (AAO).
- Over 2.3 million Americans are visually impaired; over 1 million Americans over 40 are blind from eye disease.
- 17% of Americans aged 45 or older report some type of vision impairment. This rises with age to 26% at age 75 and older.
- 5 million Americans have vision problems related to diabetes.
Pretty sobering, isn't it?
OK, so what can you do?
Well do what I do! Provide your eyes with the ammunition they need to fight degeneration! This means ensuring that you have a reasonable intake of the essential nutrients that ‘feed’ your eyes and keep them healthy.
The key ones are Zeaxanthin, Lutein, Bilberry Extract, N-Acetyl Cysteine, L-Carnosine, Beta Carotene plus trace elements such as Molybdenum, various Vitamins and a host of other Co-Factors such as Enzymes to ensure bio-availability.
Yes, you may be thinking, but do these nutrients really work? Well, they do for me! I recently had an eye exam and the optician was really quite amazed at the health of my eyes.
So, how do I get the ‘ammunition’? Simple, all these nutrients are in Total Balance, and a lot more which help the eyes but I have not mentioned here.
Even the National Eye Institute believes that half of all blindness can be prevented. Of course lifestyle choices such as smoking, diet and excess alcohol consumption are often cited as culprits but even the National Eye Institute acknowledge that a lack of anti-oxidants which are the ‘ammunition’ that I referred to earlier is also a significant cause.
(By the way, the blindness being experienced by my father in law is not as a result of any negative lifestyle choices.)
Here is a simple example of just how one nutrient (anti-oxidant) I mentioned earlier can help support your eyes. Lutein! Consider this:
In one Harvard study, a diet of 6 milligrams of lutein per day led to a 57 per cent lower prevalence of Aged Macular Degeneration, leading the study's authors to suggest a diet high in lutein to lower the risk of contracting AMD.
Now this is just one nutrient and a relatively weak one at that. There are dozens more studies supporting the efficacy of the nutrients that I mentioned above. By the way we have 5mgs a day of Lutein in a full dose of Total Balance. It becomes even more effective when it is combined with the other ingredients I mentioned above.
In good health and may you keep your good eyesight,