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Vision News

Gene Therapy May Be A Tool To Prevent Blindness; Reduces Blinding Blood Vessel Growth By Up To 90 Percent In Laboratory Mice

Ambitious Plan To Give Sight To The Blind; "A Thousand Points Of Light" No Longer A Metaphor, 9/6/2002

The Aging Eye

All My Eye - A Tale of Retinal Detachment

AskPhysicians.com

Blindness & Visual Impairment WebRing

Digital Journal of Ophthalmology

eMedicine: Ophthalmology

The Eye Care Forum

Eye Resources

The Eye Site

Foundation Fighting Blindness

Glaucoma Foundation

Glaucoma Service & Foundation
at Wills Eye Hospital

Handbook of Ocular Disease

Health Central: Eye & Vision Conditions Center

Internet Ophthalmology

MD Support, Inc.- The Eyes of the Macular Degeneration Community

Macular Degeneration Foundation

National Eye Institute

Not Fade Away- One man's journey
into blindness

Ophthalmology for Students

Optobionics
Optobionics is developing an artificial
retina and related devices to restore
vision for individuals afflicted with
retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular
degeneration and other outer retinal
diseases that can lead to blindness.


Postgraduate Medicine: Cataracts

SightWise: Preventing Retinal Detachment

If you're very nearsighted & over 40 (maybe younger) you are more susceptible to Detached Retina. 

A Detached Retina is a Medical Emergency!

Fact 5% (1 in 20) of very nearsighted people* will have a detached retina sometime.
      * -6.0 Diopter correction or greater

Vision Surgery Rehab Network
"Surgical Eyes™ is a grassroots
organization founded by people
with longer-term complications from
refractive surgery to assist others who
have had unsuccessful LASIK, PRK,
RK, AK, ALK or other elective
refractive surgeries.


Vision Loss In America

 

Your vision is precious. Any change in vision, including floaters and flashes, blurriness, loss of night vision, itching, pain, etc. warrants setting an appointment with an ophthalmologist ASAP (As Soon As Possible). When vision loss is concerned, minutes can be precious. If surgery is needed, when possible, obtain a second and third opinion and make sure your thoroughly understand all of your options, possible complications arising from the surgery, risks versus benefits, etc. In a non-emergency, carefully select your eye practitioner and ask friends and other medical professionals for recommendations. It is important you have good communications with your eye specialist before, during and after examination and/or treatment.

The book entitled, "The Eye Book," by Gary Cassel, M.D., Michael D. Dillig, O.D. and Harry G. Ransall, M.D. is a good resource of information on topics ranging from the eye exam to various eye diseases, including age related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

The Internet News Group, sci.med.vision may also be a way to meet people who have or have had similar problems and challenges.

Above all, persist until you are reasonably satisfied that you understand the causes of your condition, your treatment options and the likely outcomes of a procedure or treatment. Finally, your eyes, like the rest of your body, need good nutrition, sound health practices- good/sensible exercise, NO SMOKING, rest and a time to recuperate. Don't neglect them.

The Eyes and Nutrition

A diet rich in so-called anti-oxidants and other key nutrient "types" may promote eye health.  "The Eye Site," provides brief summaries of some nutrition related research studies that support this view and information on  nutritional "eye" supplements (which the owner of the site directly markets). Performing a medical abstract search under "cataracts" or "macular degeneration" at the Enzymatic Therapy Web Site will yield abstracts of studies supporting the role good nutrition and anti-oxidants have in maintaining eye health.  However, one must be careful using any study as a basis for using a  specific supplement or combination thereof, if for no other reason, than that results of studies may conflict, See: "Antioxidants and Other Phytochemicals: Current Scientific Perspective, Stephen Barrett, M.D."

However, a balanced diet rich in leafy and non-leafy vegetables and fruits such as spinach, carrots, oranges, plums, potatoes, apples, tomatoes as well as whole grains will bolster general health, and probably that of the eye in particular. This diet should also be low in fat, salt, refined sugar and cholesterol and high in fiber. Regarding cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association's nutrition committee has issued a science advisory discussing relationships between antioxidants and heart disease. The statement concludes:

"Considerable evidence now suggests that oxidants are involved in the development and clinical expression of coronary heart disease and that antioxidants may contribute to disease resistance. Consistent with this view is epidemiological evidence indicating that greater antioxidant intake is associated with lower disease risk. Although this increased antioxidant intake generally has involved increased consumption of antioxidant-rich foods, some recent observational studies have suggested the importance of levels of vitamin E intake achievable only by supplementation. There is currently no such evidence from primary prevention trials, but results from secondary prevention trials have shown beneficial effects of vitamin E supplements on some disease end points. In contrast, trials directly addressing the effects of beta-carotene supplements have not shown beneficial effects, and some have suggested deleterious effects, particularly in high-risk population subgroups.

In view of these findings, the most prudent and scientifically supportable recommendation for the general population is to consume a balanced diet with emphasis on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and whole grains. This advice, which is consistent with the current dietary guidelines of the American Heart Association, considers the role of the total diet in influencing disease risk. Although diet alone may not provide the levels of vitamin E intake that have been associated with the lowest risk in a few observational studies, the absence of efficacy and safety data from randomized trials precludes the establishment of population-wide recommendations regarding vitamin E supplementation. In the case of secondary prevention [protection of people known to have coronary artery disease], the results from clinical trials of vitamin E have been encouraging, and if further studies confirm these findings, consideration of the merits of vitamin E supplementation in individuals with cardiovascular disease would be warranted." 

In my opinion, anti-oxidants and sufficient amounts of minerals such as zinc in the diet contribute to improved eye health. Eye health problems may provide one of the first warning signs that we need to lead healthier, more stress free lives.

Macular Degeneration Foundation
Macular Degeneration Foundation

 

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