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31 Jan 2014 1:39 PM-

Sight – A Precious Gift Worth Protecting

Sight is considered one of the most precious of the senses and
yet the health of our eyes is an all too often neglected area
of wellbeing. Eyesight is worth protecting! Even partial vision
loss can make reading, recognition of faces, driving, watching
television and independent living increasingly difficult.
Glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration
(AMD) are diseases of the eye recognised as the three leading
causes of blindness for people over the age of 60 worldwide.
However, eye related complaints are not just limited to your
parents, grandparents or the older generations. In the modern
world, eye related complaints such as eye strain, blurred
vision, red eyes and visual fatigue are becoming increasingly
common in younger generations due to hours of staring at a
computer, television screen or computer games.
Although it can be difficult to cut down on computer time,
fortunately there are natural ingredients that may alleviate
the annoying symptoms of eye strain as well as reduce your
chances of vision loss associated with age. Be proactive about
eye health and ask your Practitioner how to maintain healthy
vision. It’s never too early to start looking after your eyesight!

Protecting the Eyes Inside and Out

The eyes are very delicate and vulnerable to damage from both
external and internal factors which can ultimately affect eyesight.
In addition to dust and pollution from the outside environment,
eyes are also prone to internal damage caused by the production
of unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals are
produced as a result of many natural processes within the body;
they may cause damage to various bodily tissues including the
eyes, if they are not balanced by antioxidants. Antioxidants,
which can be obtained from the diet, help to counteract these
damaging molecules and preserve the delicate parts of the
eye. Factors that may contribute to increased free radical
production include sun exposure, smoking, diabetes and high
blood pressure. Improving antioxidant status can promote eye
health by protecting the internal structure of the eye.

Nature’s Answers for Eye Health

Plant-based medicines are a rich source of antioxidants that
are beneficial for maintaining the integrity of the delicate
components of the eye. Specific natural ingredients for eye
health include:
• Lutein and zeaxanthin: These plant-based nutrients are
found within the retina of the eye, protecting the eyes from
sun damage and supporting healthy macula pigmentation.
• Blackcurrant: The small dark fruit of blackcurrant is
rich in important antioxidants to support eye health and
reduce the symptoms of visual strain. Research has shown
that a combination of blackcurrant, lutein and zeaxanthin
may help to reduce the symptoms of visual fatigue with
improvements seen in just two weeks.
• Zinc, vitamin E and vitamin B12: Are nutrients required
to support eye health.
• Omega-3 fish oil: Provides anti-inflammatory support,
which in turn may slow the progression of age related
vision loss.
• Lipoic acid: Eye related conditions are a common
complication of diabetes. Lipoic acid is a potent
antioxidant that has been found to support healthy blood
sugar levels and is a key nutrient to help minimise the risk
of visual conditions associated with diabetes.
Depending on your individual needs, your Practitioner can
recommend high strength, quality supplements that provide
these natural ingredients to improve your vision health, so you
can retain the gift of sight!

Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Healthy Eyes

As well as taking specific natural remedies, you can also take
daily measures to support vision health.
• Eat antioxidant rich foods every day
 Antioxidants play a vital role in protecting the tiny
structures of the eyes from free radical damage. Examples
of antioxidant-rich foods are vibrantly coloured fruits and
vegetables such as berries, beetroot and capsicum.
• Maintain a healthy weight
 Being overweight increases the chances of high blood
pressure and diabetes, which are both risk factors for
vision loss. Ask your Practitioner about a professional
weight management program to help you get back into a
healthy weight range.
• Quit smoking
 Cigarette smoking increases the amount of free radicals
which are detrimental for eye health. Your Practitioner can
provide support to help overcome this harmful habit.
• Have your eyes checked regularly
 Make the time to visit your Optometrist regularly to keep
a check on your eye health and ensure your glasses or
contact lenses are suitable for your current needs.
• Wear sunglasses
 The sun’s ultra violet rays can damage the eyes and
increase the risk of macular degeneration and vision
loss. Shield your eyes from the sun’s glare by wearing
sunglasses when out in the sun.
• Take a break!
 Reduce visual fatigue and eye strain by taking regular
breaks away from the computer or television screen.

You will see the benefits in the future!

Sight is a gift that should not be taken for granted. Be proactive
about vision health and don’t wait until it is too late. Maintain
healthy vision by consulting with your Practitioner about
natural ingredients and lifestyle tips that are tailored to your
individual needs.

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