How eating habits can reduce need for eye surgery

Eye specialist says proper nutrition can treat and reverse common vision problems.

  • Jan. 18, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Eating blueberries can have positive benefits for preserving your eyesight.

For 40 years, Dr. Robert Abel Jr. has dedicated his professional life as an ophthalmologist to preserving vision. As a founding partner in a large eye care practice in Delaware, he operates on 400  cataract patients a year, but he treats six times that number without surgery.

“We know that specific foods and nutritional supplements have value in treating specific diseases, and we also now know there are also certain foods and supplements that specifically encourage eye health,” says Dr. Abel, author of the book, “The Eye Care Revolution.”

Dr. Abel says by using an understanding of nutritional chemistry and other means it is possible to control or eliminate many of the factors that contribute to the development of serious eye diseases:

Controlled clinical studies show that the risk of developing cataracts can be decreased by more than half by eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, as well as the antioxidants vitamin A, E, lutein, and glutathione boosters.

The risk of developing glaucoma can be lowered by consuming high levels of vitamins C, Omega 3, and B12. Also rhythmic breathing and avoiding blood pressure medications in the evenings.

The risk of developing macular degeneration can be reduced by maintaining high levels of vitamins A, D, E, the carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein, DHA, and the amino acid taurine (found in egg whites).

Diabetic retinopathy can be delayed or prevented by consuming vitamin C along with alpha lipoic acid, Quercetin, and other bioflavonoids.

What is the ideal dietary regimen for someone concerned about preserving or improving eye health? In his new book,  Dr. Abel lists the Top Ten foods for sght:

• Cold water fish (sardines, cod, mackerel, tuna) are an excellent source of DHA, which provides structural support to cell membranes and is recommended for dry eyes, macular degeneration, and sight preservation.

• Spinach, kale, and green leafy vegetables are rich in carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein protects the macula from sun damage and from blue light.

• Eggs are rich in cysteine, sulfur, lecithin, amino acids, and lutein. Sulfur-containing compounds protect the lens of the eye from cataract formation.

• Garlic, onions, shallots, and capers are also rich in sulfur, which is necessary for the production of glutathione, an important antioxidant for the lens of the eye.

• Non-GMO soy, low in fat and rich in protein, contains essential fatty acids, phytoestrogens, vitamin E, and natural anti-inflammatory agents.

• Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene. Yellow and orange vegetables, like carrots and squash, are important for daytime vision.

• Blueberries and grapes contain anthocyanins, which improve night vision. A cup full of blueberries, huckleberry jam, or a 100 mg bilberry supplement should improve dark adaptation within 30 minutes.

• Wine, known to have a cardio-protective effect, has many important nutrients, which protect the heart, vision, and blood flow.

• Nuts and berries are nature’s most concentrated food sources. Grains, such as flaxseed, are high in the beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol and stabilize cell membranes.

• Extra-virgin olive oil, is a healthy alternative to butter and margarine.

Dr. Abel says to maintain eye health, drink six eight-ounce glasses of filtered water every day to keep properly hydrated, as water helps create the fluid in our eyes.

 

Just Posted

Kelowna golf course ready and open for spring business

Two Eagles Golf Course opened Saturday, more to come

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA hopes annual climb will promote peace

MLA Norm Letnick’s 5th Annual Spring Climb for Health & World Peace is April 6

Possible assault to bus driver in Kelowna

A minor bus crash was reported just after 8 p.m. Friday night

Car crash nearly sends car over embankment in West Kelowna

RCMP search for driver of alleged stolen vehicle that caused crash

Update: Highway 3 reopened following rockslide near Keremeos

The slide occurred Friday March 22, at about 8 p.m. between Red Bridge and Standing Rock

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Letter: Stop raising the minimum wage

To the editor: The government is looking for ways to put more… Continue reading

Letter: Immigration will not help other countries, or our own

To the editor: Firearms are not the culprit in all those massive… Continue reading

Letter: Sprawl destroying natural landscape

To the editor: I agree with the assessment by Ian Pooley in… Continue reading

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Most Read