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Can Proper Nutrition Prevent Cataracts?

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Wed, May 29, 2019 @ 09:53 AM

nutrition_for_cataracts.jpg

A nutritious, well-balanced diet is essential for living a healthy life, but adding a few extra vitamins and antioxidants to your nutrition plan can have more benefits than you may think.

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a leading cause of visual impairment in Americans, as well as one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the U.S. with more than two million procedures done per year. Cataracts develop when proteins in the lens of the eye are damaged, causing the eyes to become ‘cloudy’ or opaque.

Reducing the Risk of Cataracts

Several factors can increase the risk of developing cataracts, among them include: age, genetics and ethnicity. While we have no control over these factors, there are some that we can control to reduce the risk of cataract development, such as not smoking, wearing hats or sunglasses to protect your eyes from UVA/UVB rays and of course, eating a healthy diet.

How Diet Affects Cataracts

Recent studies have shown a promising link to preventing or delaying cataracts by eating a healthy diet. Vitamins C and E are the strongest protectants due to containing antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the lens of the eyes. Both are promising nutrients that can prevent the development of cataracts, and eating foods containing high amounts of both antioxidants are associated with a reduced need for cataract surgery.

According to the American Optometric Association, numerous studies have found strong evidence that vitamins C and E may decrease the development or progression of cataracts. One recent analysis from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that adding higher levels of vitamin C to the diet were associated with a lower risk of developing cataracts. You can read more about recent studies on cataracts on the AOA website.

Eating the recommended daily five servings of fruit and vegetables is the best and easiest way to incorporate more vitamins C and E into your diet. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans do not eat all five servings and in today’s fast-paced world, it can be difficult find the best food sources on-the-go. If you believe you may be at risk for developing cataracts, consider adding a daily multivitamin and eye health supplements containing at least 75 mg of vitamin C and 15 mg of vitamin E to your diet.

Treating Cataracts in Baton Rouge

For those in the Baton Rouge area who are concerned about the development of cataracts or just want help in maintaining their vision and eye health, contact Eye Specialists of Louisiana, and request an appointment with any one of our dedicated ophthalmologists.  

10 Things You Should Know About Cataracts

 

Tags: Cataracts, Healthy Eye Tips

The Effects of Chlorine on Eye Health

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Thu, Mar 14, 2019 @ 02:06 PM

happy teen  group  at swimming pool class  learning to swim and have funHave you ever spent a day at the pool and noticed that your vision was a little blurry after? Have you looked in the mirror after swimming and noticed that your eyes were red?  Chlorine is a chemical commonly used in pools for water purification and sanitation, but despite the benefits, it can also have some less than desirable effects on your eyes.  If you are looking forward to enjoying the pool as warmer days approach, keep the following in mind, and keep your eyes protected from chlorine’s ill effects. 

How Does Chlorine Harm the Eyes?

Our eyes are typically protected from outside bacteria and irritants with a tear film that coats the cornea.  When exposed to chlorine, however, this tear film can be stripped away, leaving the eyes vulnerable to not only the chemical itself but also to pollutants that may still exist in the chlorinated water.  Common eye conditions associated with chlorine exposure include:

  • Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) – A viral or bacterial eye infection that is easily transmitted via water.
  • Irritation – This includes redness and blurriness that occur with damage of the tear film. These symptoms are usually temporary and resolve without treatment.

Protecting the Eyes from Chlorine

Chlorine is still a necessity for pool sanitation and the rewards of eliminating the spread of water-borne bacteria and illness far outweigh the risks, so it’s a chemical you are sure to encounter again and again.   However, rather than avoiding the pool altogether, take a few safety precautions to enjoy swimming while also keeping your eyes protected.

  • Use water-tight goggles when swimming in a chlorinated pool. Not only will you be able to see clearly underwater, you eliminate the risk of eye irritation and infection.
  • Do not wear contact lenses in the pool. Bacteria can become trapped between your eye and the lens and cause serious complications. If you do have to wear them, immediately clean with solution after leaving the pool.
  • When experiencing the symptoms of chlorine irritation, use lubricating eye drops to help rebuild the tear film on your eyes.

These simple steps can help keep your eyes safe and healthy both during and after swimming.  If you do happen to experience symptoms such as redness or blurriness, understand that these symptoms are a common side effect of chlorine exposure and that they will quickly resolve.  However, should the symptoms persist an infection may be present.  Contact Eye Specialists of Louisiana and request an appointment with one of our skilled ophthalmologists to assess your eye health.

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Tags: Healthy Eye Tips

3 Ways to Improve Eyesight Naturally

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Fri, Dec 21, 2018 @ 02:12 PM

improve eyesight naturally

An estimated 75% of the American adult population uses some form of corrective eyewear.  Nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism are just some of the vision hindering conditions that lead many to seek out contact lenses, glasses, or even corrective surgery procedures such as LASIK.   These options are viable for many and can often give patients the vision improvement they have been looking for.  However, equally as important as choosing the appropriate form of vision correction is proper on-going care of your eyes.

 

The eyes are among the body’s most highly functional organs and are nearly constantly in use.  Even during sleep, our eyes go through cycles of rapid eye movement, or REM.  They seldom are at rest.  However, for most, little thought is given to these hardworking body parts or their long-term care until vision problems occur.  Increasingly, our daily habits such as heightened screen time and poor diet are beginning to play a detrimental role in eye health.  Without appropriate care, it is safe to assume that vision will continue to deteriorate over time, at a much more rapid pace. 

Fortunately, in addition to regular eye exams and the various available forms of vision correction, there are a few things that you can do to help keep your eyes strong and healthy naturally:

Eating for Eye Health

As is the case with all organs, nutrition matters.  Proper diet can promote good eye sight by helping to keep eyes strong and healthy.  We’ve previously blogged about some super foods for eye health, but among the most beneficial are those that contain beta carotene, lutein, zinc, DHA, and vitamins A, C, or E.

Exercises for Eye Strength

Eye strain, especially in the digital age, is a common complaint for many patients.  Frequent breaks and exercises are helpful to combat the negative effects.  Try to follow the 20-20-20 rule by taking a break every 20 minutes to focus on an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.  Slowly rolling your eyes may help as well.  Begin with 10 times clockwise, and then switch to 10 times counterclockwise.

Sleep and Healthy Eyes

One of the most effective measures you can take for eye health is to allow adequate time to rest.  Eight hours of sleep each night is ideal for eye health and rejuvenation.  Additionally, when working at a computer or reading for lengthy amounts of time, allow for a full 10 minutes of rest at least once per hour.

Eyesight gradually weakens for us all.  Some may need help with their vision from a very young age, while others may only require reading glasses later in life.  Regardless of the severity of deficiencies in your vision, proper care of your eyes is crucial.  By taking steps to ensure eye health, you can help ward off potentially damaging conditions, while also strengthening eyesight.

To fully protect your eyes, take the steps outlined above and schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist for an exam.  The physicians at Eye Specialists of Louisiana can help you identify and appropriately address any issues with your vision or eye health.  To contact our office, click here, or call us directly at (225) 768-7777.

 

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Tags: Healthy Eye Tips

3 Common Eye Diseases Helped by Exercise

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Mon, May 21, 2018 @ 11:05 AM

Portrait of happy men and women on fitness balls exercising with resistance bands in gym classThe health benefits of exercise are no secret.  You already know that being physically active is important for maintaining a healthy weight, building strength and endurance, and keeping important aspects of your health, such as the heart, protected.  However, what you may not realize is that exercise is good for your eyes too.  No, we aren’t about to give you a list of eye exercises to perform.  Instead, allow us to elaborate on some common eye diseases and how regular physical exercise now may help reduce your risk for developing them later on.

Exercise Decreases Risk for Cataracts

Cataracts are among the most common eye conditions affecting people as they age.  In fact, it is estimated that half of all Americans will have developed them by the age of 75.  However, multiple studies have shown that cataracts may have a direct link to physical activity.  Those who regularly enjoy a run, or even a brisk walk, seemingly have a decreased risk of cataract development later in life.  Furthermore, the studies have linked lack of physical activity to an increased risk for the condition.

Exercise Reduces Risk for Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration

There are two forms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD): wet and dry.  While the dry form accounts for the majority of cases, wet AMD is responsible for about 90 percent of all instances of severe vision loss from the disease.  It occurs when abnormal blood vessels begin to develop and grow underneath the retina, ultimately leaking fluid and blood into the eye.  While early detection and treatment can help slow the progression of AMD, there is no way to restore vision once it is lost.  Fortunately, research has shown that there are steps that can be taken now to help prevent the development of this vision-stealing disease.  In particular, study participants who exercised three times or more each week are less likely to suffer from wet AMD.

Exercise Reduces Eye Pressure Associated with Glaucoma

The culprit behind glaucoma is increased intraocular pressure (IOP) that develops when fluid within the eye is unable to drain properly.  Again, this is a disease for which early detection and treatment is critical and in which vision lost cannot be restored.  However, studies have once again noted a connection between this condition and exercise.  Findings reveal that those who regularly participate in low-impact exercise of moderate intensity also experience a decrease in eye pressure.

Now that you know that benefits of exercise for your long-term eye health, it’s time to get moving.  Institute an exercise regimen such as regular running or brisk walking, and keep up with regular ophthalmology exams to identify and circumvent any potential eye problems.  The steps you take today, both literally and figuratively, will benefit your vision and eye health tomorrow.  Contact Eye Specialists of Louisiana to request an appointment.

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Tags: Healthy Eye Tips, Vision Disorders

4 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from Blue Light

Posted by Eye Specialists of Louisiana on Thu, Apr 26, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

Computer screen blue lightThe device you are reading this blog on is illuminated by a very specific type of light known as blue light.  This short wavelength of light may not seem like much to you, but as we rely increasingly on devices that use it, researchers are spending greater amounts of time investigating the potential side effects.  Unfortunately, many of them are not good.  For instance, blue light can disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm, or internal clock, at night, leading to sleep disruptions.  It may also be linked to the development of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration in the long run.  Of course, we understand that it may be impossible to fully escape electronic devices such as your computer or phone, but there are precautions you can take.  Here are four ways that you can help reduce your blue light exposure:

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Blue light blocking eye glasses are becoming increasingly available to help reduce the negative effects of this light form.  With lenses designed to filter out blue light, these glasses may just help protect your eyes from future problems and help prevent sleep disruption.  While the jury is still out on how effective these glasses are, they may just be worth looking into for those who spend several hours per day in front of a screen.

Blue Light Screen Protectors

You likely already have a screen protector on your phone, so why not use one that can also reduce your blue light exposure?  Products like Ocushield serve double duty by accomplishing both.  You may even find it preferable to your phone’s own settings (like Apple’s Night Shift), because it doesn’t interfere with the color quality of your screen.

Dim Red Light Bulbs as a Blue Light Alternative

Electronics aren’t the only source of blue light we encounter day-to-day.  Those energy efficient, LED light bulbs are a source too.  This means that even if you aren’t looking at a screen prior to bed, your bedroom lights may still be causing a sleep problem.  Consider using dim, red light bulbs at night to give the room a soft glow that won’t bother your eyes or your sleep.

Blue Light Reducing Apps and Software

Your phone may use a similar setting already.  If not, there are apps and software available that allow your device to mimic the natural shift of sunlight.  Again, this is an option that may help you sleep better at night by minimizing disruption of circadian rhythms.  However, long-term use may also help protect your eye health by reducing your overall blue light exposure.

There are more threats to eye health than many realize.  Fortunately, the dangers of blue light have been well-publicized, prompting many to take action now and protect their eye health into the future.  Use the products above to help control your own blue light exposure, and always maintain regular eye exams to keep your vision strong and healthy.  Contact Eye Specialists of Louisiana to request an appointment.

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Tags: Healthy Eye Tips, Bad Habits for Eye Health

16 Reason To Visit An Ophthalmologist

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