What Conditions Affect Eye Health

Let's explore the conditions that can affect eye health

There are many conditions that can affect the health of our eyes. Here our Nutritional Therapist - Jayne Whitty discusses some of them. It is never too early to start protecting your eyes.

Blue light damage

From TV Screens, phones, tablets etc.

Blue light penetrates deep into the eye, to the macula at the centre of the retina, which provides detailed vision

This spot is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which help filter out harmful light. If low in these nutrients blue light can damage the retinal nerve and cause plaque build up in the eye. This may induce blurred vision

Blue light glasses are highly recommended for those who are looking at computer screens all day

Dry Eye Syndrome

Can occur when tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes.

Symptoms include:

  • Burning
  • Feeling of dryness
  • Tiredness of the eyes
  • Sandy feeling in the eye
  • Sensitivity to light

If you suffer from Dry Eyes you could try, Eye Logic, a spray that gives a liposomal tearful layer that lasts for hours. Omega 7 is essential for lubrication of all our mucus membranes and is great for sufferers of dry eyes. You will need to give it 2-3 months to take effect.

Eye Floaters

Floaters are small bits of debris floating in the jelly like substance that fills the eye ball. As we age that jelly like substance begins to dissolve and become more watery. Some bits of collagen will break off but not dissolve and continues to float around the eye. What we see is not the bit themselves but the shadow of these bits. Anxiety and stress can heighten sense which can give the impression stress makes floaters worse.

What can we do?

Unfortunately there is little we can do about floaters. They are inside the eye so they won’t flush out, they’re not viral or bacterial so medication won’t help. Maintaining your eye health is the best way to prevent these. One Nutrition Macu Complete is a supplement that has all the nutrients needed to support the eyes and prevent these floaters and other problems.

Watery Eyes

There are two main causes of watery eyes: over production of tears, and an obstruction to the normal drainage of tears. These, in turn, have a variety of causes, many of which are treatable underlying conditions.

Overproduction of tears tends to be the result of:

  • Allergies such as hayfever or an irritant such as fumes or chemicals

  • Dry eyes. This seems unusual, but if the eyes become too dry, your tear ducts can over-compensate by producing excess tears, causing watery eyes

  • Weather - Cold, windy weather can irritate the eyes, cause them to sting or dry them out, resulting in watery eyes

  • Infective conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can result in irritated eyes which can cause them to water. The infection can also causes discharge which can be clear and watery

  • Blepharitis. This is a condition where the outer edges of the eyelids become inflamed. It is usually chronic with no cure; treatments instead focus on alleviating symptoms, which include itchy eyes, a burning sensation, crusty eyelashes or in severe cases, eyelash loss

  • Keratitis. This is the inflammation of the cornea, which if left untreated can cause ulcers, which in turn can impair vision or cause blindness. This inflammation can irritate the eye, causing it to water.

Puffy Eyes

Here are some of the most common causes of puffy eyes.

Fluid retention - usually worse in mornings after sleeping. Fluid retention can be caused by too much salt in the diet. You could try using Cleavers or Dandelion which are both natural diuretics and can help to reduce fluid retention.

Lack of sleep, try taking some magnesium before bedtime.

Ageing, the skin around the eyes becomes thinner as we grow older, causing it to swell easily.

Crying produces salty tears in the eyes and cause fluid retention around the eye themselves.

Allergies like hayfever and other irritants will cause the eyes to become itchy and irritated resulting in red puffy eyes.

Conjunctivitis
is the inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane that lines your eyelid and eyeball. It's characterized by redness and a gritty sensation in your eye, along with itching. Often a discharge forms a crust on your eyelashes during the night.

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis usually affects both eyes along the edges of the eyelids. Blepharitis commonly occurs when tiny oil glands near the base of the eyelashes become clogged, causing irritation and redness. Several diseases and conditions can cause blepharitis.Sinusitis

Cataracts

Cataracts are a common eye condition which is usually a consequence of growing older. Cataracts affect the lens of the eye, which focuses light into the back of the eye, adjusting as we look at objects at different distances. As the lens changes or becomes damaged, this causes it to become cloudy or misty. If untreated it can cause blindness.

There are three types of cataracts, Subcapsular develops at the back of the lens and Nuclear which develops centre of the lens and Cortical which develops at the outer edge of the lens, and grows inwards.

Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts are cloudy misty vision and difficulty seeing in dim or darkness.

Some of the risk factors are age, smoking, and damage from UV rays. To prevent cataracts is it important to eat a healthy balanced diet that is high in antioxidants.

Glaucoma

Eye condition where the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain becomes damaged. Usually caused by fluid building up in front of the eye which increases pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma is caused by poor drainage of fluids.

Symptoms of Glaucoma are

  • Intense pain

  • Redness in the eye

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Tenderness around the eye

  • Halos or rings

  • Blurred vision/misty

  • Rapid loss of vision in one eye

Treatments don’t cure glaucoma but help to manage the condition. It’s a serious condition and you must talk to your doctor about it, however to help you on your journey the following should be done alongside treatment:

  • Improving your diet

  • Reduce your caffeine intake as it can increase eye pressure

  • Drink water in small amounts throughout the day as it prevents temporary spikes in pressure

  • Keep head elevated at night as this aids in draining fluids from eyes


Have a read of Jayne's blog on How to Protect Your Eyes

Jayne Whitty - Nutritional Therapist at Sásta Nutritional Therapy

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