Eye & Body Wellness
Managing and balancing eye and body wellness leads to enhancing your overall wellness. Self-care is really important, and being mindful about how we take care of our bodies and what we put in them is essential to our health. Nutrition is a vital part of maintaining overall wellness, including ocular wellness. Protecting your vision can be as simple as considering which fruits and veggies you’re choosing at the grocery store, grabbing your sunglasses before heading out the door, and paying attention to your posture. Supporting eye and body wellness helps your whole body work in harmony.
Eye Health & Nutrition
There are some essential nutrients your eyes need to stay healthy and reduce your risk of certain eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
Sources of vitamin A include yellow or orange fruits and veggies, eggs, leafy green vegetables, salmon, goat cheese, cheddar cheese, sweet potato, carrot, grapefruit, and mango.
Sources of lutein are leafy green vegetables, red pepper, corn, green peas, green beans, squash, egg yolk, and grapes.
Meso Zeaxanthin & Zeaxanthin
Meso zeaxanthin is believed to be involved in blocking blue light from reaching the structures within the retina and causing damage that could cause macular degeneration.
Studies show that vitamin D can help prevent age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss among Americans. Although one of the best sources of vitamin D is sunlight, there are safe, dietary ways to increase your vitamin D intake.
Some excellent food sources of vitamin D are salmon, trout, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, avocado, spinach, and other dark, leafy greens.
Some great sources of zinc are red meats and milk. However, you need to be careful about the chronic use of zinc since it can be neurodegenerative. If you are concerned about balancing your zinc intake, talk to Dr. Munson about how your diet can support your eye health.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help strengthen your skin and prevent wrinkles while strengthening your retina. Investigators find the anti-inflammatory effect of omega-3s on dry eye disease is similar to that of cyclosporine. Because they reduce inflammation all over the body, Dr. West frequently prescribes a dietary supplement and dietary changes for patients with dry eye disease.
Omega-6 sources of omega fatty acids are salmon, eggs, plant oils, flax seeds, chia seeds, eggs, brussels sprouts, spinach, and walnuts.
Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA) is a great addition to a dry eye treatment plan. GLA is known as the most powerful health-promoting omega-6 and is found in evening primrose oil, borage seed oil, hemp oil, and black currant seed oil. GLA is elongated to form the biologically activated dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA), which goes on to either form the anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E1 or the anti-inflammatory ARA.
Research shows GLA can be beneficial in dry eye therapy, but it should not be given without EPA/DHA. Only one enzymatic step is necessary to convert the anti-inflammatory DGLA to proinflammatory ARA, and EPA competes against DGLA to ARA conversion, ensuring DGLA forms prostaglandin E1.
As we age, our body naturally slows its own production of collagen. A lack of collagen has been associated with glaucoma and cataracts.
Great sources of collagen and hyaluronic acid are poultry, beans, vitamin C, soy, and avocado.
Vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants out there, and recent studies have shown that antioxidants can help slow the progression of cataracts. Vitamin E can also do a great job of boosting antioxidants whose job is to keep free radicals in check in the body. Free radicals damage your body’s healthy cells and are found in pesticides, cigarette smoke, chemical food additives, and the air we breathe.
Great sources of antioxidants include oranges, blueberries, kale, broccoli, spinach, almonds, sweet potato, and avocado.
At Dry Eye Clinic, we are proud to offer many self-care treatments that you can add to your daily routine in an effort to achieve optimal wellness, including Dr. West’s favorite nutritional supplements. Nutritional supplements will help you enhance your vision and your overall wellness.
A plant-based diet can help prevent the major causes of blindness: macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Talk to Dr. West about how a plant-based diet can protect your eye health and overall wellness.
Illumination & Lighting Exposure
In Tennessee, the outdoors play a large part in our lives. However, protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays is essential. Wearing proper sunglasses protects the retina and ocular surface from wind and dust exposure, and lowers macular degeneration risk. Proper clothes protect skin from suspicious lesions, and from harmful UV rays. For blue-eyed white women, one in four have skin cancer.
Protecting your eyes doesn’t stop when you get inside. In today’s digital world, we frequently find ourselves in front of computer screens, television screens, smartphones, and tablets. However, while these devices have made many aspects of modern life easier, they come at a cost (namely, digital eye strain). Make sure that you limit the glare on your screens, follow the 20/20/20 rule, pay attention to your posture, and tend to any vision issues.