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Vision; the most important sense. How to maintain it youthful
Thanks to our vision, through our eyes, we acquire 80% of our awareness of our environment. Therefore, the vision is the most important sense that can greatly influence our quality of life. There are a variety of aging-related disorders that can impact your eyesight, and they frequently obstruct the passage of the light signal from the eye to the brain. Maintaining healthy eyes and vision should be of highest priority as we age.
The way our eyes works is similar to how a camera works. Light reflected from an item enters the eyes through the pupil and is focused by the optical components within the eye. The cornea, iris, pupil, and lens make up the front of the eye, which focuses the image onto the retina. The light-sensitive membrane that covers the back of the eye is known as the retina. This membrane is made up of millions of nerve cells that clump together behind the eye to form the optic nerve. Many components of your eye and brain work together to enable you to see. Basically, the lens, retina, and optic nerve are three vital components of the eye that enable you to convert light and electrical signals into images in your brain. Tears are also required for proper ocular function as they keep your eyes moist and smooth, as well as helping light focus so you can see clearly. They also protect your eyes against infections and irritants such as microbes and dust. A thin layer of tears termed a "tear film" spreads across the surface of your cornea every time you blink. Tears are produced by glands located above your eyes, and flow through your tear ducts and down tough the nose.
Aging-related effects on vision
There are a variety of aging-related disorders that can impact your eyesight, and they frequently obstruct the passage of the light signal from the eye to the brain. Presbyopia is a disorder in which the lenses of the eyes become less flexible with age, making it difficult to focus on close objects. That's why, by the time we reach the mid-40s or 50s, practically everyone needs reading glasses. Peripheral vision loss is another typical part of aging, with the size of our visual field shrinking by one to three degrees per decade of life. You may have a 20 to 30 degree reduction in your peripheral visual field by the time you reach your 70s and 80s.
The most common changes that elderly people experience with regards to sight are:
• Loss of near vision
• Difficulty differentiating colors, such as blue from black
• Requiring more time to adjust to changing light levels
These issues are frequently simple to resolve. Glasses, contact lenses, and better lighting may be able to assist you in maintaining your freedom and lifestyle.
Maintaining a healthy vision in old age
There are a number of activities to support good vision:
Getting frequent eye exams. Your eye doctor can detect and treat eye problems early if you get regular eye exams. It's critical to arrange yearly eye exams so that any growing problems can be addressed as soon as possible.
Using sunglasses. Sunglasses are more than simply a fashion statement; they protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays and can even slow down the aging process.
Protecting your eyes. Always use eye protection if you have a profession or hobby that could result in an eye injury. This could be athletics, building work, or factory employment, among other things.
Exercising on a regular basis. Making time to exercise on a regular basis can help you avoid a number of health problems throughout your life. Diabetes and high blood pressure, for example, might cause visual impairment.
Quit smoking. You can lower your risk of getting diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration by quitting smoking.
A healthy diet promotes healthy eyes and vision
Eating a balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables and salmon are examples of foods that are beneficial for your eyes. Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens, are particularly beneficial to your eyes. Some of the greatest foods to eat to receive the best eye vitamins are: carrots or carrot juice, leafy greens (turnip greens, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, spinach), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes), sweet potatoes, green beans, eggs, nuts and seeds (sunflower seeds, sesame, hazelnut, almond, brazil nuts). Wild-caught seafood, omega-3-rich foods, and foods high in zinc (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, halibut, tuna, etc.).
Supplements that promote eye health
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects your vision by combating free radicals and aiding your overall absorption of trace minerals and nutrients. Many people are deficient in this important vitamin, which aids in the repair of injured tissue, reduces inflammatory reactions, prevents cellular mutations, and much more. Cataracts were also 60 percent less likely among those who reported taking multivitamins with both vitamin E and vitamin C, according to a long-term study.
Vitamin A (beta carotene). Vitamin A is an antioxidant that has been demonstrated to help reduce eyesight loss due to degenerative diseases including cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin A, in combination with other antioxidants, appears to help delay the course of neuropathy (nerve damage) in the eyes, particularly diabetic neuropathy.
Vitamins E, A, and C act synergistically to protect cells and tissue from the consequences of inflammation. These fat-soluble antioxidants have been found to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, and combining vitamin E with vitamin A has been demonstrated to improve eye healing and vision in those who have had laser eye surgery. According to some studies, those who consume at least 400 international units of vitamin E daily, especially when combined with vitamin A (as beta-carotene), vitamin C, and zinc, had a 25% decreased risk of developing advanced stages of macular degeneration. People with the highest levels of lutein and vitamin E had a much lower relative risk of cataracts than those with lower intakes, according to a 2008 study that included 35,000 people.
Lutein, also known as "the eye vitamin," is an antioxidant that protects both the eyes and the skin. The human eye contains two main carotenoids: lutein and zeaxanthin (macula and retina). They are also believed to act as a light filter, shielding the eye tissues from the harmful effects of sunlight. Egg yolks, spinach, kale, maize, orange pepper, kiwi fruit, grapes, zucchini, and squash are all high in lutein. Supplementing with six milligrams of lutein daily can reduce the risk of macular degeneration by 43 percent.
Bilberry is a plant that includes flavanols, quercetin, and phenolic acids, among other phenolic chemicals. It also includes anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant that has been proved to improve vision and eye health. It has been demonstrated to protect against cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Traditional medicine has utilized bilberry standardized extract to lower the risk of cataracts. Bilberries include antioxidants that can assist your body fight inflammation thereby reducing chances of contracting inflammatory diseases.
CoQ10 (or Coenzyme Q10) is an antioxidant that can protect the eyes from free radical damage. It has been found to halt, or reverse, the degenerative alterations associated with glaucoma, as well as to have possible neuroprotective properties.
Zeaxanthin is one of over 600 different varieties of natural carotenoids, but only around 20 of them make it into the eyes. The most crucial are lutein and zeaxanthin, which are delivered in the largest amounts into the delicate macula of the eyes. Zeaxanthin, like lutein, helps protect the eye's tissue, lens, and macula, preventing glare, light sensitivity, and disorders like cataracts.
Omega-3 fatty acids have a wide range of health benefits due to their anti-inflammatory properties and ability to slow down the consequences of aging. Omega-3 fatty acids help to regulate blood sugar levels, which reduces inflammatory responses, aids in the prevention of diabetic eye damage and improves circulation.
Zinc, when combined with other vitamins, protects the retina and reduces the risk of macular degeneration. Zinc is an essential vitamin for food absorption (it's involved in over 100 metabolic activities) and effective cellular waste disposal, which helps to prevent inflammation and cellular damage. Zinc is also beneficial to eye tissues because it is required for correct cell division and growth, healthy circulation, hormone balance to prevent autoimmune reactions, and control of inflammatory cytokines that can attack eye tissue.
Magnesium has been demonstrated to enhance blood flow by relaxing blood vessel walls. It has also been shown in tests to have neuroprotective properties by shielding cells from oxidative stress and apoptosis.
Essential oils applied topically around the eyes in tiny amounts may be useful. Helichrysum oil may aid to increase vision and strengthen nerve tissue, while Frankincense oil has been shown to improve eyesight and blood flow. Because of its potential to enhance circulation, cypress essential oil may also aid eye health. Three drops of any of these essential oils, diluted in a carrier oil, can be used twice daily to the cheeks and lateral eye area, but not directly into the eyes.
Coconut oil can be massaged over the eyelids and lashes to help reduce inflammation. Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory effects are all found in coconut oil. Lauric acid in coconut oil helps repair damaged skin and protects against UV radiation while moisturizing the area around the eyes. Coconut oil has also been shown to help reducing inflammation after UV exposure and protects skin from UV radiation. Coconut oil is also safe to put in your eyes in addition to massage it on your eyelids. The fatty acids in coconut oil offer a protective coating over the eyes and assist to keep them moist.
The following are some of the most common age-related eye issues, some of which can lead to vision loss
Presbyopia is the gradual loss of the eyes' capacity to focus on nearby objects as we get older. Farsightedness commonly appears in the early to mid-forties and worsens until the age of 65. The need to hold reading materials at arm's length to make letters clearer, impaired vision at normal reading distance, and eyestrain after reading are some of the symptoms. Presbyopia can cause headaches in some people. Nonprescription or prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, and, in rare cases, surgery can be used to treat the issue. Vitamins are a great approach to help support, heal, and strengthen your vision, and treat refractive problems, and they can also be used to treat age-related eye diseases. Lutein, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplementation has been shown to counteract presbyopia, along with the use of sunglasses.
Glaucoma is caused by a build-up of fluid and pressure inside the eye, which can permanently damage the eye. It can cause vision loss and blindness if not treated. Glaucoma patients frequently have no early signs or pain. Having yearly dilated eye exams can help you protect yourself from this condition. Prescription eye drops, lasers, and surgery are all options for treating glaucoma, as are natural therapies like consumption of antioxidant foods, astaxanthin, chromium, magnesium, bilberry, fish oil and CoQ10
When the tear glands don't function properly, it causes dry eyes. You may experience stinging or burning, a sandy sensation as if something is in your eye, or other unpleasant sensations when your tear glands can't function properly. Dry eyes are very common as people age, especially in women. To cure dry eye, your eye doctor may recommend using a home humidifier or air purifier, as well as specific eye drops (artificial tears) or ointments. Prescription medicines, tear duct plugs, or surgery may be used to treat more severe cases. Dry eyes can be caused by a number of underlying health conditions, as well as a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Identifying the source of poor tear production can aid in the selection of the most appropriate and effective treatment. Symptoms, on the other hand, may endure a lifetime for some people. Ways to naturally prevent dry eyes are: limiting screen time, wearing wrap-around sunglasses, eyelid washing and massaging with coconut oil, humidifying the environment and acupuncture has also been shown to be effective.
Age-related macular degeneration
Macular degeneration caused by age can impair the sharp, central vision required to view objects clearly and perform everyday tasks such as driving and reading. Age-related macular degeneration, which causes visual abnormalities so severe that irreversible "legal blindness" can ensue, is predicted to affect 10 million to 11 million Americans. There are treatments available, and certain nutritional supplements may help reduce your risk of it worsening. Macular degeneration symptoms include:
Blurred central vision, which occurs in the center of one's vision when looking straight ahead; The region that appears blurred can grow larger over time, or certain spots may even appear blank.
Straight lines become warped or bent.
Colors may become darker or less bright and vibrant for certain people.
Difficulties with routine tasks such as reading, recognizing faces, writing, typing, or driving.
Vision can be entirely lost and permanent blindness can occur in some cases of severe macular degeneration.
Being over the age of 60, having nutritional deficiencies due to a poor diet or absorption/digestive problems, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, genetic factors, chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, UV light damage from too much sunlight exposure, and cigarette smoking are all major risk factors for macular degeneration. There is currently no "cure" for macular degeneration; instead, there are techniques to assist prevent the illness from developing in the first place, as well as strategies to manage macular degeneration symptoms. Aflibercept, ranibizumab injection, pegaptanib sodium injection, and laser photocoagulation therapy are among the most frequent medications and treatments used to slow the progression of this illness and save eyesight. Photodynamic therapy, retinal cell transplants, radiation therapy, gene therapies, and even the implantation of tiny computer chips in the retina to aid transfer nerve signals are all options. Natural treatments of macular degeneration include the consumption of antioxidant foods and supplements, vitamin C, bilberry, omega-3 fatty acids, astaxanthin and zeaxanthin, lutein, and the massaging of frankincense, helichrysum or cypress essential oils on the cheeks and lateral eye area (behind the eyes) twice day, but avoid getting oils in your eyes.
Cataracts are cloudy patches in the lens of the eye that cause cloudy or blurred vision, sensitivity to light and glare, increasing difficulty with night vision, seeing "halos" around lights, fading or yellowing of colors, double vision in one eye, frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription, reading difficulty due to reduced black-white contrast are all common cataract symptoms. People are at risk for cataracts due to a variety of causes. Aging is the most common risk factor and cause of cataracts. Cataracts are more prone to develop as you become older. Almost everyone who survives into their senior years will get cataracts to some extent. Your family's history of Glaucoma and Myopia can to some extent predict the probability of developing cataracts. Uveitis, an uncommon persistent inflammation of the eye that is frequently caused by an autoimmune condition can lead to cataracts. Previous physical injury or surgery, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disorders and conditions needing steroid treatment, overexposure to sunlight, smoking and alcohol consumption, and long-term environmental lead exposure and chronic ionizing radiation exposure (such as X-rays), can all increase the chances of developing cataracts. New prescription eyeglasses, better lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, magnifying lenses, and cataract surgery are all common treatments for cataract symptoms.
If you have diabetes, you may develop diabetic retinopathy. It takes a long time to develop, and there are generally no early warning signals. If you have diabetes, a dilated eye exam should be done at least once a year. Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels can help you avoid or decrease the progression of diabetic retinopathy in its early stages. Later-stage laser surgery can occasionally prevent it from worsening.
As you advance through the stages, you may notice the following indications and symptoms:
Floaters (spots or strings)
Dark patches or empty areas of vision
Vision changes that come and go
Night vision difficulties
The following are some of the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy:
Hispanic, black, or American Indian/Alaska Native ancestry
Poor blood sugar management
Diabetes (type 1 or type 2) during pregnancy
high blood pressure
Treatment options for diabetic retinopathy include blood sugar control, diet, exercise, and diabetes medications. Steroid injections directly into the eye, laser surgery and vitrectomy which involves removal of gel, blood, and/or scar tissue from the eye to allow light to enter the eye. Proper blood sugar control can reverse blood vessel damage and eliminate illness symptoms in mild situations.
Treatment can usually prevent the disease from worsening, even if the existing damage cannot be reversed. Fortunately, diabetic retinopathy can be avoided or slowed. Some supplements that can help preventing and slowing down this condition are, MirtogenolTM — a combination of Pycnogenol®, a French maritime pine bark extract, and Mirtoselect® which is a bilberry extract, folic acid or vitamin B12 supplement to aid with vitamin shortages caused by some diabetes therapies, danshen dripping tablets (Salviae miltiorrhiae, Radix notoginseng, and borneol) and other TCM, fenugreek, resveratrol and gingko biloba extract.
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