Vision and eye health in general are issues that are very important to me. First of all, I’m blind as a bat without my contact lenses. If I don’t have my contact lenses in or glasses on, and I hold one hand up at arm’s length in front of me, I literally cannot see each individual finger. Just a blur that resembles a hand.
I’ve also had some eye health issues in the past, including conjunctival cysts and chronic dry eye. At first I thought this was the result of over 20 years of daily contact lens use (OK, and many nights…I admit it—although I no longer sleep with them after hearing it from my eye doctor . While this might have been one cause, my eye doctor also suggested that years of using eye care products containing toxic preservatives (including but not limited to thimerosol) could have also contributed to the problem. She also recommended making sure I was hydrated enough throughout the day and making sure I had enough good fats like Omega 3s from fish oil in my diet (it’s always refreshing to hear medical professionals make dietary and lifestyle recommendations).
So I switched my eye care products and added a high quality fish oil supplement and started drinking lots more water (this was really before I knew its importance for overall physical, mental, and emotional health) and while I had some improvement it still was not enough. I even tried prescription drops and had punctal plugs put in to try to keep my tears on the surface of my eyes longer, but it still was not enough of an improvement.
I decided to also consult with my naturopathic doctor, who suggested that my tear function may have been hindered by the build-up of heavy metals in my system. She said that these metals might be present at toxic levels for a variety of reasons—years of childhood vaccinations and flu shots (before I started doing research about vaccines in general), polluted air and water, as well as contaminated foods—anything like that. She gave me a homeopathic, bioenergized Core Bilberry supplement and told me how to take it, and within a month my eyes were not just better, but they were even better than normal. My eye doctor was also very pleased with the results, and I was happy to hear that my eyes had flushed out the plugs on their own.
More holistic eye heath measures:
My eye doctor knows about the work I do and that I like to look for holistic solutions to health issues first (and of course that I believe prevention is key), before considering other measures. She told me about this great website: www.eyefoods.com, which accompanies the book Eye Foods: A Food Plan for Healthy Eyes by optometrists Dr. Laurie Capogna and Dr. Barbara Pelletier. The book and the recipes identify whole foods that contain the highest concentration of nutrients (antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, etc) that have been shown in research to help prevent and slow the progression of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and cataracts.
The plan also identifies how certain lifestyle factors like “UV and blue light exposure, smoking, body mass index, waist circumference, physical activity and cardiovascular health” can contribute to the development of these diseases or worsen existing conditions.
So while my eye issues have definitely improved by the measures I’ve already taken, I still do have some days where my eyes feel drier (especially when the pollen count is high). I am going to check out this plan in detail and see what other healthy whole foods I can add more of into my existing recipes (as well as try some of the new ones on the site and in the book).
Some eye diseases, like other diseases, are influenced by genetics—but this does not mean that one is doomed to get them if preventative diet and lifestyle measures are taken. I look forward to trying some of this out and seeing if I have further improvement in my own eyes. Thanks to Dr. L for telling me about this site and for stressing the importance of diet and lifestyle in preventing/treating these disorders of the eyes. I look forward to learning more.