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Eye Health

Eye problems are often the first indicators of unhealthy conditions in other parts of the body...

For example: watery, itchy eyes usually show of an allergy; dark circles under the eyes can relate to colds, sleeplessness, adrenal exhaustion and food allergies; a yellowing of the sclera (the white of your eyes) relates to poor liver function; and blurred vision can relate to gall stone blockage, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Symptoms of eye disorders are disturbances of vision, headache, discharge, red and/or sore eyes.

The good health of the mother during pregnancy is essential for healthy eye development in the foetus, and, eye disorders in a baby can almost always relate to poor nutrition from the mother.

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Deficiencies of vitamins may cause eye problems...

Many eye defects, or abnormalities, can be traced to faulty nutrition. 

Even a slight deficiency of Vitamin A can cause easy tiring of the eyes, sensitivity to light variations, dry eyelids, susceptibility to eye infections and possible ulcerations, and irreversible blindness.

Insufficient B Complex vitamins result in paralysed eye muscles, itching, burning, light sensitivity, bloodshot and watery eyes.

Protruding or bulging eyes may be a sign of thyroid problems or a Vitamin E deficiency.

A Thiamine deficiency can cause paralysis of the muscles of the eyes.

A deficiency of Zinc may be responsible for macular degeneration, a disease that strikes the elderly and can lead to blindness.

Eyestrain occurs when the eyes have been abused by using them excessively in improper light...

Too little light, glaring light and reflections, shadowy work areas and flickering light such as that from some fluorescent tubes cause the eyes to make numerous unnecessary adjustments that may lead to eyestrain.

Eyestrain may also be a result of undetected eyesight problems - so a regular visit to an optometrist is recommended. Frequent relaxation of the eyes is important. Changing the range of focus by looking up and away from your work toward a distant object, hourly, when working on a computer, reading or any close range work, is necessary to give your eyes a break from glaring light and focussing on small details. Micro-pauses, or quick breaks, are also an opportunity to stretch and take a few deep breaths which may alleviate headaches caused by nervous tension. Adequate intake of the vitamins necessary for eye health is helpful.

Nearsightedness often results from stress...

Tension can appear when there is an undersupply or poor absorption of calcium. Adolescents are particularly susceptible to this disorder because of the stress of growth, allergies and often an inadequate diet. Symptoms of nearsightedness are eyestrain, squinting, dizziness, fatigue, headaches and possibly low blood pressure. The disorder may be prevented, or alleviated, with a B complex, Vitamin C, D, E, Calcium, Protein and Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).

Night blindness is the inability to see well in dim or dark light...

The major cause is a deficiency of Vitamin A. This vitamin is necessary for the formation of visual purple, the substance in the eyes which enables them to adjust from bright light to darkness. Other causes of night blindness are fatigue, emotional disturbances or hereditary factors. B Complex vitamins and Zinc have been reported to relieve night blindness, when Vitamin A has not produced a response.

Nutrients can help with your eye health...

Vitamin A, B complex, C, E and Protein are especially important for good eye health. Vitamin B2 has corrected eye symptoms such as colour disturbances, inability to see part of an image or printed page, halos around lights or objects, and spots floating in front of the eyes. Vitamin C and Rutin are necessary to prevent or clear up infections. They also help prevent capillary fragility and tissue haemorrhaging; in addition, Vitamins B2 & E and Niacin may be beneficial for retinal haemorrhage. The B Complex vitamins may prevent the thinning of eyelashes.

Amblyopia is a dimness of sight and B Complex vitamins are used to correct this. Cataracts may be helped with the use of White Willow bark (a natural form of aspirin). As well as this, B Complex vitamins may protect the lens of the eye from clouding up. Vitamin C is thought to do the same. Conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the eyelid, may be helped with eye-drops made from the herb Eyebright or Colloidal Silver. Bilberry Complex is also a fantastic herbal combination that can help with eye disorders, as can herbal Eyebright.

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is also known in some parts of the U.S. as huckleberry. During World War II, British pilots ate lots of bilberries before their night flights to nutritionally support their vision. Bilberry also supports circulatory health by strengthening capillaries. Its active constituents include anthocyanins and tannins. Bilberry should be used over several months, in order for the body to best assimilate its unique nutritional properties.

Studies have shown that Vitamin E can improve eyesight. Supplements of Vitamin E have resulted in decreased severity and duration in the acute stage of retrolental fibroplasia. In combination with Vitamins A and C, Vitamin E may relieve cases of abnormal eye movement and of eye conditions that do not respond to any single vitamin. Arteriosclerosis of the eye has been reversed with the use of Vitamins C & E. A deficiency of Vitamin E is possibly a factor in a detached retina. Use of Vitamin E has also relieved weak eye muscles, crossed eyes, blurred vision and double vision - taking the B complex may also be helpful. Visual acuity improved when Folic acid was given to elderly diabetic and peripheral vascular disease patients.

There are several natural ways to support vision...

We know our eyes are constantly exposed to sunlight, artificial lighting and free radicals, all of which can damage them. After middle age our natural antioxidant production decreases, and the pigments in our eyes change, further harming the eye. Perfect Eyes gives your eyes the nutritional support they need for protection. This formula contains Lutein, an important antioxidant that may diminish the effects of age-related macular degeneration, and N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC). Aging bodies can easily convert NAC into the eye-protecting antioxidant glutathione, defending the eye from harmful free radicals and nerve cell damage.

Lining the back of the eye, the retina "sees" light and transforms it into nerve impulses that they brain interprets as vision. Maintaining healthy blood flow through the capillaries of the retina is essential for proper vision. Maintaining healthy capillaries (tiny blood vessels) is the key to optimal retinal function. The macula is the retina's central area where light is focused. It is responsible for detailed vision. Inside the macular is a yellow pigment that contains two carotenoids - lutein & zeaxanthin, which protect the retina from ultraviolet light and free radicals. Research at Hopkin's Wilmer Eye institute USA found that daily supplements of lutein did significantly boost vision. People in the study improved their visual acuity and the width of their visual field. The Bilberry was shown to help boost blood flow to the eyes and help keep the cells in this part of the body well supplied with oxygen and nutrients.

Nutritional and Herbal support for eye health include...

Bilberry Complex - contains the herbs Bilberry, Eyebright, Ginkgo and Siberian Ginseng. This combination has been used to treat a variety of health problems related to the eyes and head - used successfully to treat conjunctivitis, cataract formation, glaucoma, weak eyesight, eyestrain, and to help remove cysts caused by chronic eye inflammation. Helps those under pressure to remain mentally alert and helps prevent eyestrain and tiredness by increasing circulation to your brain and eyes.

Eyebright - has been used for strengthening and healing the eyes, to help the body in dissolving cataracts, healing lesions and eye injuries, and reducing the pressure of glaucoma.

B Complex Vitamins - important for energy production, relieving stress and nervous tension, and each individual B vitamin has particular roles to play in eye health.

Vitamin C with Hesperidin Complex Powder - enhances immunity, protecting against infections and strengthens the capillaries reducing risk of tissue haemorrhage.  Contains homeopathic minerals.

Some important points about Eye Health...

  • Relax eyes for 10 minutes a day or longer by closing them.
  • Ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet - take a multivitamin and the specific vitamins as listed for your specific eye disorder.
  • Ensure your diet contains plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. This will supply Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids to protect the blood vessels and enhance immunity.
  • Focus eyes on objects at various distances. This is like a workout for your eye muscles. This way they are less inclined to get lazy and out of shape and more likely to maintain their ability to focus on objects at a variety of distances.
  • Get sufficient sleep. Feeling tired and rundown will effect the ability of your body to function well generally, including your eyes.
  • If pain is severe, or problems persist, seek professional help.
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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

If you need help or advice, please email our naturopathic team with your health question.  Please allow 48 hours for a response.

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