However, it's important to remember that good nutrition does not need to be specific to the eyes. Poor dietary habits could lead to other health problems which may in turn increase your risk of developing associated eye diseases. An example of this is diabetic retinopathy.
Losing one's sight can be a traumatic experience. Accidents can happen and unfortunately some diseases that cause blindness cannot be prevented. However, being able to see an amazing sunset, a star-riddled night sky or your family and loved ones are things that many of us wouldn't want to give up if we knew we could help prevent it.
So why put yourself at an increased risk of developing age-related eye conditions simply because your diet is lacking in the necessary nutrients and ingredients for optimal eye health and support for good vision.
Free radicals, oxidation, UV radiation and blue light have been shown to increase the risk of eye diseases. One just has to look at the damage that these conditions do to the eyes to understand their impact on our lives and why it's so important to ensure you and your family are getting the best ingredients possible to nourish and support the health of your eyes.
Take blue-light hazard for example. Blue-light hazard is basically the potential for a photochemical-induced retinal injury. It is often the result of radiation exposure at wavelengths mainly between 400 nm and 500 nm. The damage occurs when the photoreceptors in the eye absorb the light.
Normally, when light hits these receptors, the cell becomes bleached and is pretty much useless until is has recovered via a process called the visual cycle. Blue light causes the cells to become unbleached and responsive to light before they're ready to do so...ultimately increasing their potential for oxidative damage.
Another eye condition that may be prevented through nutrition but is still on the rise is age-related macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes progressive damage to the macula. The macula is the central part of the retina that allows us to see fine details.
As the macula degenerates and becomes more damaged, people may experience blurring or darkness in the center of their vision...leading to a loss of central vision needed for activities that require fine vision. These include reading, driving and even recognizing faces.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two ingredients that may help prevent both blue-light hazard and age-related macular degeneration. They're discussed in more detail in the Ingredient of the Month section in this newsletter.
Other ingredients that may beneficial for eye health support are:
- Bilberry Extract: Bilberry has long been a remedy for poor vision and "night blindness". Clinical tests confirm that given orally it improves visual accuracy in healthy people and can help those with eye diseases such as cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma and myopia.
- Astaxanthin: A powerful antioxidant, astaxanthin has been shown to help prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration.
- Rutin: Rutin may help improve capillary integrity in the eye and is believed to help lower ocular pressure. It may also be very helpful in combating cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and free radical damage in the eye.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Several studies suggest omega 3 fatty acids may help protect adult eyes from macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and help with proper drainage of intraocular fluid from the eye...therefore decreasing the risk of high eye pressure and glaucoma.
As far as omega 3 fatty acids are concerned, they are really making the headlines lately for their beneficial effect on the eyes of both babies and adults. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Canadian researchers found that infant girls whose mothers received DHA supplements from their fourth month of pregnancy until delivery were less likely to have below-average visual acuity at 2 months of age than infant girls whose mothers did not receive the omega 3 supplements.
Adult eyes also benefit from omega 3s. In 2009, the National Eye Institute (NEI) published a study that used data obtained from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). The study found that subjects who had the highest level of omega 3 fatty acids in their diet were 30 percent less likely than their peers to develop macular degeneration during a 12-year period.
The above mentioned ingredients are available in optimal amounts in our Total Balance and Omega 3 ranges. So don't delay, order yours now. It's never too late to boost the health of your eyes by giving them the nourishment they need, as well as the ingredients best suited to promote healthy vision.