You have gorgeous eyes! Whether we are guys or gals, it’s a universal compliment, isn’t it? I grew up in a family where half of us (me, my dad and my brother) have big, blue eyes. I always answer the compliment with, “Thanks, the color and the inspiration behind them came from my parents!” Your eyes certainly can say a great deal about your mood, your intentions, your flirtations and, most importantly, your health.
I met an Iridologist years ago, the aunt of a friend of mine. Just for fun she asked to look at my eyes. I was amazed at what she saw. Without knowing anything about me she pinpointed some past health issues. Then she noted that she’d never seen eyes as healthy as mine and said that my body was very balanced and I was in excellent health. While I can’t be conclusive about the methodology, it was intriguing to realize that our eyes give clues. What are your eyes telling you?
Regular eye exams can detect the basics like near or far-sightedness to determine whether you need glasses or updated prescriptions. An eye exam can also reveal high cholesterol, high blood pressure and even diabetes.
As we age, certain eye health issues may become a crisis if left unchecked including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.
- Cataract - a cloudy area in the lens of the eye. Because it blocks light to the retina, it can lead to cloudy vision and glare, and is a leading cause of low vision among all Americans.
- Diabetic retinopathy — affects one in every 12 people with diabetes age 40 and older. Uncontrolled blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels of the retina resulting in poor vision and possibly even blindness if left unchecked.
- AMD — is caused by deterioration of the retina and has two kinds: Dry AMD may result in blurry print, dull colors, and hazy vision. Wet AMD is more serious as there is abnormal blood vessel growth at the back of the eye that can leak blood and fluid. Straight lines or faces may appear wavy or you may have a central blurry or blind spot. It is also an indicator or heart disease.
- Glaucoma — an increase in fluid pressure in the eyes that can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss.
- Prescription & OTC drugs — Drugs & drug combinations (including analgesics, antacids, anti-anxiety, antibiotics, and diuretics) may cause dry eyes, double vision, light sensitivity and even blurred vision so be sure to watch out for side effects.
In Full Focus
Before you get all bummed about batting your baby blues, there is some great news. Your eyes can reap huge benefit from your good habits. Research has shown that the eyes benefit greatly from key nutrients that not only protect our eyes but may even reverse existing issues.
- Omega 3 — these healthy, essential fatty acids help reduce inflammation and increase circulation. Look for fresh oily fish like salmon and sardines, also walnuts and flaxseed.
- Lutein & Zeanthanin — contain antioxidant-rich cartenoids shown to help the eyes’ defend against the sun’s blue light (part of the visible spectrum in solar rays). Add leafy green veggies & colorful produce like tomatoes to your daily intake.
- Key Vitamins & Minerals — Vit C, Vit E, beta carotene, zinc (found in peanuts, beans, oysters, lean red meat) & copper (found in organ meats, cashews, whole grain and cocoa)
- Pycnogenol® - one of my favorite super antioxidants helps to improve microcirculation, reduce retinal swelling and improve vision in those with early-stage retinopathy.
Your eyes, like the rest of your body, need daily attention, a good workout regimen and healthy habits. Start incorporating these great tips from WebMD.
- Do 20/20 and 20 — Keep your eye muscles in tip top shape by following this rule: Every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Wear Sunglasses — more than just looking cool, sunglasses, shield your eyes from harmful UV rays. Look for those that block both UV-A and UV-B rays.
- Dump old Makeup - bacteria is bad for the eye so replace eye makeup including mascaras every three months, even if you still have some left.
- Quit smoking — period! Smoking increases your risk of cataracts, reduces circulation which can damage the retina and result in vision loss
- Get Examined - it is recommended that you get a regular checkup every other year from 21–40, and every year if you are over 40 or wear contacts.
It’s All in the Eyes
Whether the windows to your soul are chocolatey brown, gossamer green, haunting hazel, or brilliant blue, they tell a story worthy of your attention. Take good care of your “babies” and they’ll see you through a lifetime of memorable moments.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”
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Copyright © 2012 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.