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Tips For Keeping Your Eyes Healthy!



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Posted by mwadelewis – Tips for Keeping Your Eyes Healthy #infographic #eyes #health #vision

by ROSALIND RYAN, femail.co.uk

Your mother’s advice that carrots can help you see in the dark may have been more than a ploy to get you to eat vegetables.Research has now proved that eating certain foods can improve your eyesight, reverse the signs of optical ageing and keep your eyes in good health.

One of the most common causes of poor sight is a condition called macular degeneration. This condition accounts for 50 per cent of all blindness and sight problems in the UK.

Imagine that your eye is like a camera. There is a lens and an opening at the front that focuses objects onto the retina at the back of your eye. The macula lies in the centre of the retina, which is sensitive to light.

Sometimes the cells of the macula become damaged and you lose the ability to appreciate colours or focus on detailed activities like reading. The condition rarely causes total blindness but can blur your central vision and sometimes make you sensitive to light.

It normally affects those over 60 years old, earning the name age related macular degeneration (ARMD), but a genetic form of the condition can also affect children and young people.

Doctors do not know exactly why the cells of the macular start to fail. One theory is that ARMD is triggered by free-radicals, harmful chemicals that your body picks up from sunlight, the atmosphere and cigarette smoke.

But there are some steps you can take to protect your eyes for the future. Follow our guide to eating your way to better eyesight.

Eat your greens

A recent study by the Florida International University found that eyes containing higher amounts of a nutrient called lutein were up to 80 per cent less likely to be suffering from ARMD.

Lutein protects the eye by forming pigments in the macula. The pigments help with vision by filtering out harmful blue light wavelengths that can damage the eye. The more pigments your eye contains, the less likely it is to fall prey to ARMD.

The Eyecare Trust, a national charity devoted to raising awareness of eye health, says, ‘There is increasing evidence to show that eating vegetables containing lutein is crucial to maintaining pigment density levels in the macula.’ Unfortunately lutein is not generated naturally by the body so you need to make sure you are getting enough from other sources.

These are mainly green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating a teaspoon of green leafy veggies with a small amount of fat raised blood lutein levels by nearly 90 per cent.

You need to eat lutein-rich vegetables for several months before seeing any benefits. But if you get bored of eating spinach, you can take a vitamin supplement to boost your lutein levels. These are available from all major health food stores.

A study published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science discovered that volunteers taking 10 mg of natural lutein supplements every day for 12 weeks significantly increased the amount of macular pigment in their eyes.

Start crunching on carrots

It is true – eating carrots can help you see in the dark. The essential nutrient responsible is carotene which is turned into vitamin A by the liver.

Vitamin A protects the eyes by helping to absorb the light energy that passes into the eye. Increased levels of vitamin A means


your eyes can absorb more energy and become more sensitive in dim light, helping you see more effectively.Karen Sparrow, spokeswoman for opticians Vision Express, says, ‘Children that are deficient in vitamin A often have dry eyes and in extreme cases can suffer from night ‘blindness’ where they have trouble seeing in the dark.’

Good sources of carotene are carrots, mangoes and cabbage. You can also find it in cod liver oil, milk and eggs.

Another fruit famed for its ability to boost night vision is blueberries. Anecdotal evidence from RAF pilots in World War Two shows they felt their night vision improved after eating blueberries.

The ‘magic’ ingredient in blueberries is a group of compounds called anthocyanosides. These attach to the area of the retina that is responsible for adjusting the eye to see in the dark.

You will need to eat blueberries for more than two months before starting to notice any effects. If they are difficult to get hold of, you can take them in capsule form or tablets, available from good health food shops. Aim to take up to 600 mg every day.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-99368/Can-eat-improve-eyesight.html#ixzz3uisUgsa0
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Do You Have A Nutrient Deficiency?



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Posted by Brenda Hughes – 7 Common Signs of Nutrient Deficiency


Look for stunted growth. If a child is not getting enough nutrients, they will not grow at a normal rate. The rate of growth for a particular child varies with their age. For instance, most people grow rapidly from infants to toddlers, then slow their growth until puberty, when they experience another period of rapid growth. If your child does not grow rapidly during these sensitive periods, they might be suffering a nutrient deficit.

  • See a doctor regularly to ensure your child is growing at a normal rate.
Look for problems with the hair. Nutrient deficits – especially deficits of vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folic acid, and essential fatty acids – lead to unusual problems with the hair. For instance, hair loss is common, and may manifest as thinning around the temples or reduced volume the ponytail. You might also experience premature graying or even whitening. Check the shower drain and your hairbrush regularly. If there is more hair than there normally is, you might need more nutrients.
Look for weak bones. Osteoporosis – a condition in which holes develop within bones, compromising their integrity – is a common consequence of a calcium-deficient diet. There are often no symptoms associated with osteoporosis, but at some point you will experience a fracture or break in your bones. When you see a doctor for these injuries, they will be able to detect osteoporosis through a series of painless medical tests that measure bone density at the hip, spine, and wrist.

Check dental health. Inflammation of the gums, especially, is an early indicator of periodontal disease, which may in turn indicate a nutrient deficit. If your gums are puffy, red, tender, and bleed when you floss or brush, you might not be getting enough nutrients. In advanced cases, you might have loose teeth. See a dentist if you experience any of these dental problems.

  • See a dentist at least twice each year for a regular dental checkup. Your dentist will be able to refer you to a nutritionist if they believe it is necessary.

Monitor for increased illnesses. People who do not receive adequate levels of nutrients are more prone to colds and viral infections. A nutrient-deficient immune system cannot fight off illnesses that a healthy one can, leading to a greater frequency of illnesses, more severe illnesses, or both. Nutrient-deficient people might, for instance, experience:

  • a sore throat
  • coughing
  • fever
  • sneezing
  • a runny nose
  • fever
  • other respiratory tract infections (like pneumonia and bronchitis) and flu-like symptoms

Look for muscle spasms. Muscle spasms are any involuntary contraction or vibration of the muscle tissue. If you suddenly develop facial tics – for instance, a sudden upturning of the mouth, or scrunching up of the nose – you might be nutrient deficient. Eye twitches (closing your eyes with excess force or experiencing difficulty in keeping your eyelids stable) could also indicate you need more nutrients. Painful cramps in your legs (especially your calves or thighs) are also reported in some cases of nutrient deficits.

  • You might be experiencing a magnesium deficit, since magnesium helps regulate the neuromuscular system that allows our muscles to relax.
  • Deficits of B vitamins and calcium might also contribute to muscle spasms.

Look for thyroid problems. Some kinds of nutrient deficiencies – especially iodine deficiency – lead to imbalances in the thyroid and an inability to produce and regulate hormones properly. Signs that your thyroid might be acting up include weight gain, deceased libido, goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland that usually produces a large bump in the neck), hair loss, and infertility

Look for eye problems. In a developing child, a vitamin A deficit could lead to blindness or visual impairment. If your child cannot see well, or suffer from night blindness (an inability to see in the dark), they might not be getting enough vitamin A. Other eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration also occur in people who have a deficit of vitamin C, vitamin E, zeaxanthin, and zinc.

  • You can detect macular degeneration and cataracts by paying attention to any loss of quality in your vision. Blurriness, clouded vision, and increased sensitivity to light are common symptoms.

Look for signs of malnutrition. Nutrient deficiencies are one form of malnutrition. Signs of this condition include, notably, sunken eyes and a bony frame with visible ribs. The skin of a nutrient deficient person will be leathery, dry, and inelastic. Jaundice (yellowing skin) could also occur. Finally, a malnourished person will usually feel lethargic and have low energy levels overall.

  • Malnutrition usually indicates that someone is not getting enough calories or is not getting a balanced diet. Malnutrition might also indicate that someone is getting too many calories.

See a doctor. The many symptoms of nutrient deficits are common in many other conditions and diseases. Therefore, in order to rule out other possibilities, it is important to see a doctor and get a professional diagnosis of your condition. Doctors can draw and analyze your blood to determine concentrations of key nutrients. Some doctors might conduct a cellular analysis as well as (or instead of) a blood analysis. If you suspect you or your child has a nutrient deficit, see a doctor and explain why you’re concerned about your nutrient levels.

  • Your doctors might not need to conduct a blood analysis if signs and symptoms of a nutrient deficit are obvious enough.
  • Your doctor might run tests to look for levels of specific nutrients, or just do a general screening for major nutrients.