Many of the problems that occur with vision, such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, might well be prevented with proper planning.
As with any degenerative condition, free radical damage is a major contributing factor. It is, therefore, a very good idea to supplement your normal diet with anti-oxidants.
Two particularly good anti-oxidants for the eyes are beta-carotene and Vitamin C. It is interesting that all mammals, except man, the guinea pig, and a couple of birds and a bat, produce their own Vitamin C. The other mammals produce the equivalent of 6,000 milligrams a day. That is extraordinary when you consider that the RDA for Vitamin C is only 60 milligrams, just enough to prevent scurvy.
Vitamin C is also very good for connective issue. Connective tissue comprises much of the structure of the eye and contributes to the flow of the fluids in and around the eye.
Other important supplements for connective tissues are the bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are the constituents of plants that are responsible for the color in berries. Therefore, berries can be considered very healthy for the eyes.
Many people elect to supplement with more concentrated forms of the bioflavonoids than can be derived by eating berries directly. A very good bioflavonoid supplement to consider for the eyes is bilberry. Pycnogenol is another popular bioflavonoid.
An important aspect of eye health is exercise. It serves not only to keep the muscles fit, but also to keep the fluids moving by squeezing and stretching the eyeball. Two good exercises to do are figure eights and focusing on objects at various distances from up close all the way to the horizon.
Cataracts are a condition associated with outdoor living. An interesting approach to correcting cataracts is to apply a drop of DMSO into each eye daily. This will help dissolve the cataracts. Be careful as it will sting. It has the potential for overuse.
Another eye problem common to outdoor living is pterygiums. These are the horizontal buildup of yellowish tissue usually found on the nose side of the eye that is caused by wind irritation. Again, good nutritional consideration is helpful for your own body to address this condition.
Fortunately, new advances in laser techniques have been successful at correcting some of these problems that have gotten too bad for our own bodies to correct.
In review, nutritional supplements helpful for good eye health include high doses of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, especially bilberry. Eye exercises keep the eye muscles strong and promote movement of cleansing fluids both outside and inside the eye.
And, finally, protect your eyes from the harsh environment with proper sunglasses or goggles.
As is true with any condition, remember that your eyes are part of the entire integrated system that is your body. Support your overall body with good nutrition and exercise and the benefits will be reflected throughout.
Dr. Miles practices Naturopathic Medicine at the Catalina Clinic of Integrative Health along with other Holistic practitioners in Catalina, Arizona.