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Archive for April, 2015

Teas to drink for eye health

Monday, April 27, 2015 @ 03:04 PM
Author: Amit Mathur

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What you put into your body is vitally important to how healthy you are. Good diet can reduce the risk of heart attack, diabetes and cancer. The benefits of nutritious foods and beverages spread across every part of your body. You can help fight specific health problems by changing your diet. You can also try to eat and drink things to benefit a specific part of your body.

Eye health is important. What you eat and drink determines whether or not your eyes are getting the right nutrients to be healthy and strong. Drinking tea can give you antioxidants and nutrients. Some people drink tea because they love the taste. Others drink tea specifically because it’s good for them.

Here are some teas to drink that will benefit your eye health.

Green tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants. These benefit your eyes as well as your overall health. The antioxidants in green tea are called catechins. These include vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin. They protect the eyes from glaucoma and other diseases. The catechins reach eye tissue and can have benefits there. The retinas absorb the most catechins. Japanese researchers found that rats exposed to green tea had healthier eyes.

Drinking green tea can reduce the effects of oxidative stress. The entire body including the eyes can experience the effects of oxidative stress. It happens when there is an imbalance between free radicals and other chemicals and the body’s ability to neutralize them with antioxidants. Damage can occur because of this imbalance. Oxidative stress is linked to cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, heart failure, autism and chronic fatigue syndrome.

It can also cause damage to the eyes. The retina is a highly metabolically active. It consumes oxygen a lot of oxygen compared to other parts of the body. Oxidative stress can cause diseases like macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. These can result in blindness. Drinking teas rich in antioxidants can help combat this problem.

White tea

White tea is also rich in antioxidants that can benefit the eyes. It is made from the same plant as green tea but is picked earlier and processed differently. White tea is not fermented at all allowing it to keep all those rich antioxidants. Green tea is partially fermented and black tea is fully fermented. White teas are light in colour as the name suggests.

White teas usually have more antioxidants than green teas, as much as three times as many. Like green tea white tea can fight glaucoma and other eye diseases.

Oolong tea

There are many varieties of oolong tea. It is made from the same plant as green and white tea. Oolong tea is partially fermented. The varieties range in how fermented they are. Oolong tea contains antioxidants including catechins, thearubigin and theaflavin. These antioxidants help fight the harmful effects of free radicals.

Remember not to over do it with tea consumption. All things are good in moderation. If you consume too much of anything it can go from being beneficial to harmful.

Eye allergies and what to do about them

Monday, April 20, 2015 @ 12:04 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

 

Eye_allergies

Spring is the most common time for eye allergies to strike with pollen in the air and other seasonal allergens. Still eye allergies can strike any time of year and affect different people in different ways. Other things like dust from construction sites or dust mites can cause general eye allergies. Regardless of what time of year it is allergies can be an inconvenient and painful.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of eye allergies are itching, redness, burning and watering eyes. Some will also experience dark circles under the eyes, puffy eyelids, sensitivity to bright lights and mucus.

Eye allergies will sometimes be accompanied by more general allergic symptoms like sneezing, sniffling and nasal discomfort depending on the type of allergy you have. Fever may also occur. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.

If the eyes are itchy it is best not to rub the eyes as this may worsen symptoms, hurt the eyes, introduce germs or cause infection.

Seasonal allergens

Seasonal allergens are most common in the spring, summer and fall when plants are producing pollen and there is other plant material in the air. For many these are regular allergies that come every season. During these times you avoid areas with plants that you know you are allergic to and keep windows closed to avoid letting pollen in.

Indoor allergens

There can be sources of allergens within your home that should be investigated if you are experiencing eye allergies especially outside the normal seasonal periods.

  • Pet Dander

Pet dander is one source of allergies in the home. If you have been near a pet or recently acquired a pet and begin to experience allergies you may be allergic to it. Make sure to minimize your exposure to pets and to get breeds you are not allergic to if you still wish to own a pet.

  • Dust Mites

Dust mites can also cause allergies. They are small bugs that often live in homes and other spaces inhabited by humans. They find on organic detritus like the skin humans shed. They are most commonly found in bedrooms and mattresses. Dust mites produce digestive enzymes, which along with their exoskeleton are the main source of these allergies.

It is easy to take steps to reduce the effect of dust mites. They can’t survive in dry and cool places and are usually at their worst during the summer months. Cover your mattress and pillows in airtight plastic dust mite covers. Buy polyester pillows. Wash your bedding in hot water to kill dust mites.

  • Mould

Mould is a common and problematic indoor allergen. It grows in wet places in the home so watch for signs of leaks or water build up. In some cases mould spores cause allergies in others mould can produce toxic spores. If you suspect that your home has a mould problem bring in a professional to take a look.

Eye irritants

Cigarette smoke, dust, perfume and air pollution can irritate your eyes and spark allergic symptoms. If your eyes are suddenly irritated think about potential irritants they may have been exposed to and avoid these in the future. Some irritants like air pollution are a part of life in certain places while others can be avoided and minimized.

Treatment

There are a range of non-prescription allergy treatments that can be taken in the short term to reduce the symptoms of allergies including artificial tears, eye drops and general antihistamines sold in pill form. The oral antihistamines can cause tiredness and may dry your eyes out.

If you have persistent and problematic allergies see an eye doctor or allergist about the problems. They can offer you prescription options including eye drops, allergy shots and oral antihistamines.

If there are irritants like dust, smoke or allergens like pollen in the air you can wear goggles, sunglasses or glasses to minimize exposure to your eyes. Minimize indoor allergens in your home and workplace. Minimize exposure to eye irritants.

Seeing an eye doctor can also rule out less common causes of these symptoms like a parasitic infection.

Why Seeing your Eye Doctor can Help Prevent Disease

Monday, April 13, 2015 @ 05:04 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

Eye_Doctor

An eye examination is very important because the eyes can tell the doctor what is going on in the human body even before other body organs begin to send out distress signals or before it is too late. Some professionals hold the eye examination with as much regard as a physical examination when it comes to determining the health of an individual. When your doctor starts to look at your eyes even when your vision has never been better, just know that he or she is looking for other health conditions that may be in their developmental stages.

Here are conditions that the eye doctor is likely to discover first if you visit him or her regularly:

  1.       Thyroid disease – Graves’ disease or Thyroid disease results from a disorder of the immune system where the thyroid hormone is overproduced. A doctor will look at you and if he or she establishes that the protruding eyeballs are not normal, then he or she can assist in finding the correct course of treatment
  1.       Diabetes – When a doctor looks at your eyes and discovers leaky blood vessels in the retina, then he or she will know that you are developing a condition called diabetic retinopathy. This form of bleeding is a symptom of type 2 diabetes. If an individual does not seek treatment for this condition, he or she can become blind. However, proper management of the condition will reduce the negative risks by up to 50%.
  1.       Tumors – A tumor developing in any part of the body is never a pleasant thing, especially if it is cancerous. When a doctor looks at your eyes and discovers that your eyelids have an irregular shape or if they are drooping, this may be a sign of tumour development. Furthermore, if the field of vision of an individual keeps changing, then there are chances that an individual has a brain tumor.
  1.       Hypertension – When a doctor looks at your eyes and discovers that the blood vessels have kinks, bends, or tears, he or she will immediately test you for high blood pressure. High blood pressure will damage an individual’s blood vessels and even cause someone to suffer a stroke, a heart attack, and other heart diseases.
  1.       Autoimmune disorders – An autoimmune disorder is a condition that results from the immune system being either too active or remaining abnormally inactive. When the doctor looks at the eyes and discovers some inflammations, then he or she will proceed to test the likelihood of an autoimmune disease such as Lupus.
  1.       Cancer – The eyes can show that a patient is suffering from cancer, and this early detection can save someone’s life. When a doctor notices that the structure of the eye is abnormal, most likely he or she will refer you to a skin cancer specialist. Furthermore, if the specialist discovers the presence of basal cell carcinomas on the eyelids, the condition is about to get very serious because it can spread to the brain and even become life threatening.
  1.       High cholesterol – It is very important to have a healthy cholesterol intake to allow the body to continue in the creation of new and healthy cells; however, when cholesterol is too high it can lead to serious heart diseases. A doctor will detect that you have high cholesterol by looking at your eyes and discovering a yellowish ring on the cornea, or detect a yellowish appearance on the same.

Eye_Conditions

The eyes are some of the most fascinating features we have. Some people claim that it is possible to see into someone’s soul, to tell if someone is telling the truth or not, or even to judge the personality of an individual just by looking at the eyes, While there is no proof the above claims are true, it is possible to tell whether an individual is suffering from a health condition before the symptoms appear just by looking at the eyes.

The health conditions are not necessarily eye related since the conditions here include cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, hereditary diseases, and diabetes mellitus among others. Therefore visiting the eye doctor for a routine checkup can help the doctor to detect a serious disease early enough. Here are signs that your eyes could be telling a story about an underlying health condition that is in its very early stages:

  • Are you developing yellow eyes?

This change in eye colour is an indication that an individual is developing a liver disease, cirrhosis, or hepatitis. The change in eye pigment results from the accumulation of bilirubin, which is a compound that results from haemoglobin breakdown. The conjunctiva in turn changes its colour to a yellowish pigment as an indication of the above.

  • Are you developing bloody eyes?

Having bloodshot eyes is not usually a cause for concern because it might mean that eyes are irritated or even tired. The eyes have numerous blood vessels that play several functions including nourishing the conjunctiva, and when these blood vessels break they can cause the eyes to turn red.

An eye injury can cause these blood vessels to break; or if a haemorrhage is not the cause, they eyes may be indicating that an individual has high blood pressure or that there is a disorder with the platelets.

  • Are your pupils behaving abnormally?

A person with normal pupils will have them tending towards being symmetrical and their reaction to light will be uniform in both eyes. However, if there is an inconsistency in the size, speed of shrinking, and size of shrinking with exposure to light, it is possible that there is a serious underlying health problem. The eyes may be trying to tell of a looming stroke, presence of an optic or brain tumour, presence of multiple sclerosis, or even the presence of syphilis.

  • Are you developing bulging eyes?

Bulging eyes are quite normal if other members of the family have it because it is usually a hereditary condition that has no serious consequences more often than not. However, an individual develops bulging eyes and there seems to be not complications with the eyes, the eyes are trying to point to a thyroid disease. Excessive production of the thyroid hormone results in the swelling of the eye’s surrounding tissues which cause the eye to bulge out.

  • Are you developing droopy eyes?

Many senior citizens develop drooping eyes a condition called ptosis because it is one of the signs that the body is aging. However, developing this condition early in life is an indication that there is an underlying health problem. In rare cases, drooping eyes indicate the presence of a tumour in the brain or myasthenia gravis (MG), which is a neuromuscular disease. MG weakens the muscles in the body and leads to droopy eyes among other things.

  • Are your eyes starting to appear to have different colours?

Some babies are born with a condition referred to as heterochromia iridis, which can cause the iris in one or both eyes to lose their pigment. However, the difference in colour can result from the eye trying to tell what is happening in the body. The variation in colour can also be as a result of glaucoma, bleeding in the eye, inflammation, the presence of a foreign body in the eye, or an indication that an individual is suffering from neurofibromatosis.

  • Are there rings developing around your cornea?

Wilson’s disease is a rare disease that leads to copper accumulating in different tissues such as on the liver and the brain. The copper deposits are at times deposited in the cornea and appear to be coloured discs surrounding an individual’s pupil. The disease will not usually cause harm to many people suffering from it, however if no action is taken it can lead to the death of the victim.
If you or a friend answered yes to any of the questions above, then it is very important to visit an eye professional for him or her to determine whether it is a case to dismiss or it needs immediate medical attention.