Effect of Stress on Our Eyes & Health

stressors such as covid fear trigger the fight or flight responseOur bodies are designed to handle stressful situations, referred to as the “flight or fight” mode, wherein when we need to quickly react, the body goes into action and produces hormones that stimulate the adrenal system, raise cortisol levels, and gets our muscles instantly ready to go. Once that situation is resolved, our body has the remarkable ability to return back to homeostasis or normal balance quickly.

But modern-day life may keep one in flight or fight readiness too often. This may be due to ongoing work pressure, relationship and money issues, or the stress related to COVID-19. Chronic stress can, over time, overwork the adrenal system resulting in fatigue and poor circulation.  In turn, fatigue and poor circulation limit the ability of the body to deliver essential nutrients to the eyes.

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Floaters in the Eye – Dangerous?

vitreous floaters

Subtle floating shapes

Floaters are a good name for the small dark shapes that float before our eyes. You might not notice them at all unless you are looking for them. They are common as we age. These spots may look like squiggles, strands, or any of a hundred other shapes. Though they can be annoying, floaters are physiologically harmless to the eyes.

But if you suddenly become aware of floaters, particularly accompanied by bright flashes of light, it may signal a vitreous tear or detachment, or a more serious condition such as a retinal tear or detachment, so you should contact your eye doctor right away.

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Do You Suffer From Tired Eyes?

man with tired eyes at computerTired eyes are one of the most common complaints eye doctors get from their patients. In this era of computers and mobile devices, the average person in the United States spends about 10 hours, 39 minutes daily in screen time.1

Asthenopia

Asthenopia is the technical name for tired eyes. It describes a number of symptoms resulting in eye strain and/or fatigue, red eyes, blurred vision, pain in or around the eyes, mild or severe headaches, and rare double vision which generally begins after many hours of close work on the computer or other close work. Some of these problems arise because computer/smartphone users’ blink rate slows2 causing the eyes to be dry and resulting in eye tiredness. 3 Continue reading “Do You Suffer From Tired Eyes?”

What is the Connection Between the Liver and the Eyes?

glycation causes ageing skinLiver, Chinese Medicine and Eye Health

You may have heard that the eyes are related to the liver.  But how can that be and what does that mean?  What are the practical implications?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners understand that the health of the body is intimately connected to the flow – or blockage – of energy.  TCM has identified specific ‘channels’ or pathways this flow of energy takes.  Each pathway is called a meridian, and each meridian links to pairs of yin-yang organs, for example the Liver being the Yin organ and its corresponding yang organ being the Gallbladder. The meridians function as a non-physical network mapped out throughout the entire body, with some of the meridians running through and connected to specific organs such as the Liver, Lung, Spleen, Heart, and Kidney. Continue reading “What is the Connection Between the Liver and the Eyes?”

Zeaxanthin and Lutein Save the Eyes and Improve Brain Circulation

corn with luteinThe antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin help keep the eyes healthy. A new study has found that these nutrients also improve the circulation of blood to the brain. Seniors experience gradual cognitive decline. A recent study showed that taking enough of these antioxidants halted cognitive decline. Research supports the idea that nutrition has a direct impact on the brains and eyes throughout one’s lifespan from infancy (breast milk contains lutein) to old age.1

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Astaxanthin: Carotenoid with a Difference

salmon mealThe lowly microalgae in the ocean produce astaxanthin for their protection against environmental stressors and light.  Fish and crustaceans consume microalgae and retain the bright red color that we see in salmon, sea trout, shrimp, and krill.

When we enjoy savory salmon, the benefit of the astaxanthin that it contains extends to our vision, brain, circulatory system, immune system, etc., but with a difference. It provides significantly greater antioxidant protection (10x to 100x more) than other antioxidants.1 2 3 Continue reading “Astaxanthin: Carotenoid with a Difference”

What Goes Into Dry Eye Formulations?

Dry eye formulationWith drier weather of windy fall and cold winter, added to our hours on the computer, come increased dry, burning, and itchy eyes, known as dry eye syndrome. This is the number one complaint that eye doctors hear from patients. Most of us experience it at least from time to time.

Some nutrients and formulations are especially helpful. Continue reading “What Goes Into Dry Eye Formulations?”

Herbs that Fight Abnormal Microbleeding in Macular Degeneration & Diabetic Eye Disease

retinal bleeding from diabetic retinopathy or macular degenerationMacular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy have something in common. Although the indirect causes may be different, a consequence of untreated AMD or untreated diabetes is similar. Untreated, both conditions may result in macular microbleeding, in which abnormal capillaries develop (angiogenesis) that leak fluid or blood into the retina. A holistic approach may reduce the risk of the development of abnormal blood vessels bleeding into the retina and destroying vision

Why Angiogenesis is a Problem

Let’s consider dry and wet (advanced) macular degeneration. AMD is basically a form of “starvation of the retina,” particularly the age-related form, in which essential nutrients are not reaching their target. Insufficient delivery can be due to some combination of a poor diet, lack of exercise, issues with absorption, poor circulation, candida, or chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Since the function of blood is to deliver oxygen and nutrients, one might reasonably think that growing new blood vessels would improve the ‘starvation’ issue, and that would be the intention of angiogenesis, but it’s not quite that simple. Angiogenesis occurs in an effort to deliver deficient nutrients to the retina, but unfortunately, these blood vessels are poor in quality and end up leaking. They also distort the delicate structure of the macula.

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