Natural Eye Health

Ward off common eye diseases and preserve your vision with these foods, herbs and natural eye health tips.

| May/June 2013

blackberries in wooden bowl

The anthocyanins that are bountiful in berries are effective at strengthening blood vessels, a crucial component of eye health.

Photo By Shutterstock

To navigate the world, we rely upon our sight more than any other sense. So it’s unfortunate that more than 3 million American adults suffer from eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinopathy. A recent survey found that the prevalence of chronic eye diseases in American adults increased more than 20 percent between 2002 and 2008—an upsurge driven in large part by an increase in diabetes, as well as the aging of the general population.  

4 Common Eye Diseases

Some age-related eyesight changes happen universally, and therefore aren’t considered diseases. For instance, the loss of elasticity in the eye’s lens makes it difficult to focus on near objects. (We compensate with reading glasses.) Common eye changes may also reduce night vision.

But four of the main causes of reduced or lost eyesight are these common eye diseases.

Cataracts: opacities in the lens scatter incoming light, leading to decreased visual acuity and glare

Glaucoma: abnormally high pressure within the eye eventually leads to blindness

Macular degeneration: deterioration in an area of the retina (light-sensing tissue) creates loss of vision in the center of the visual field—the part we use to read and recognize faces

5/11/2013 6:20:15 AM

Did our ancestors wear sunglasses? no

elderberry, echinacea, bee hive


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