In cataracts damage to the protein of the lens of the eye clouds the lens and impairs vision. Oxidation of the lens from exposure to the sun and other sources in the environment is partly responsible for the destruction and nothing can reverse the situation once it has developed. Nutrient deficiencies, selenium, for example, may contribute to cataract formation. Symptoms are blurred or hazy vision, seeing spots, or the feeling of a film over the eye. Vitamin C supplementation may help improve vision.
Glutathione, an antioxidant, is found to be especially lacking in cataracts as well as vitamin C, vitamin E, and folic acid. Vitamin A and the carotenoids are important for eye health, lutein a carotenoid is found in the lens. Foods containing these antioxidants are fruits and vegetables, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, legumes, avocados, oranges, dark berries, plums, and cherries. The herb bilberry is high in antioxidants, 240 to 480 mg of extract daily are recommended to protect the lens and retina, as are rosemary, turmeric, and ginger. Homeopathy remedies include Calcarea carbonica, Calcarea fluorica, Causticum, Natrum muriaticum, phosphorus, and Silicea. Take remedy according to symptom. Chinese medicine includes wolf-berry, chrysanthemum, and rumania.
This condition is an inflammation of the membrane that lines the eye, also known as pinkeye. Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelid. The cause may be a bacterial infection, a virus, or it may be an allergic reaction. A cool compress can be placed on the eye; or bathe the eye in tepid boiled water to which a little salt has been added. An eye wash made from an infusion of calendula, eye-bright, or chamomile, kept sterile, can reduce swelling and redness; add goldenseal if there is an infection. Use echinacea, eyebright, sage, and goldenseal as tea. A warm aromatherapy compress with a few drops of lavender, chamomile, or rose oil can soothe the area and help heal the infection. Green myrtle oil is an anti-inflammatory and can be mixed with water and sprayed into the eye or onto a closed eye and then blink several times. Homeopathy remedies include Apis mellifica, Argentum nitricum, Euphrasia, Hepar sulphuris calcareum, Mercurius solubilis, Natrum muri-aticum, Pulsatilla, and sulfur. Take remedy according to symptoms. Chinese medicine includes violet, chyrsanthemum flowers, and bamboo leaves—boil, strain, cool, and use as eyewash.
Glaucoma is pressure within the eyeball that damages nerve fibers of the optic nerve. Increased pressure evolves when the passage that allows fluid into the eye becomes clogged. The cause is unknown although in some cases there may be an underlying condition. Allergies can exacerbate the situation. Vitamin C, 2 to 5 g, can reduce elevated pressure, as well as rutin at 20 mg three times daily. In studies, 250 mg magnesium has lowered pressure. Cranial osteopathy is helpful in dispersing fluid within the head which relieves pressure in the eyes. The homeopathic remedy belladonna is effective for chronic simple glaucoma. Diets high in fatty fish and fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended for prevention of glaucoma.
A degeneration of the macula, which is a portion of the retina in the back of the eye. It is the leading cause of blindness. The cause of the disease is oxidation from the sun and other environmental agents; smoking is also linked to the condition. Antioxidants protect the eye from free radical damage; the carotenoids are important for eye health especially lutein and zeaxanthin which are concentrated in the macula. Zinc is needed for the synthesis of enzymes that are necessary for retinal cell function.
Nutrients recommended for macular degeneration are vitamin C 1 g, bioflavonoids, vitamin E 400 IU with mixed tocopherols, selenium 200 mcg, and the carotenoid complex. Foods containing antioxidants and carotenoids include fresh fruits and vegetables, spinach, kale, carrots, asparagus, dark berries, sweet potatoes, dried fruits, garlic, ginger, and Brazil nuts. Oyster, crab, turkey, and pumpkin seeds are good sources of zinc. Gingko biloba 120 to 240 mg extract, has been shown to help macular degeneration in the early stages. Bilberry, 40 to 80 mg extract three times daily, has a high concentration of bioflavonoids called antho-cyanosides that act as antioxidants. They also strengthen the capillaries of the retina reducing any possibility of hemorrhage.43
Night blindness is an inability to see well in dim or dark light. It is an indication of vitamin A deficiency, a nutrient necessary for the production of visual purple. Nutrients recommended are vitamin A, the carotenoid complex, and zinc, if there is a deficiency. The herb bilberry is high in bioflavonoids and aids in the regeneration of visual purple.
Other alternative medicine and therapies that aid in the prevention and improvement of eye problems are Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine including acupuncture, chiropractic, cra-niosacral therapy, shiatsu, movement therapies that help alleviate the physical and emotional stress that is induced by vision problems, Qigong, reflexology, and yoga.
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