additional topics to help you preserve your eye health and vision
Women often wear cosmetics to make their eyes look more attractive. Most people who wear eye makeup never experience any make up related eye problems and the use of cosmetics is generally safe when properly used. However, there are risks of injury from the application of the makeup, risks of infection and risks of unapproved color additives being used in the make-up. Even safe cosmetics cause dangerous allergic reactions in some people.
- Dr. Rodriguez values his membership in the Ocular Nutrition Society because proper nutrition is essential for maintaining healthy eyes and preserving vision. Multiple disorders are related to inadequate nutrition. Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are the leading causes of visual impairment and acquired blindness in the U.S. Diabetes, Hypertension and high cholesterol can also cause decreased vision and even blindness. These disorders have been linked to improper diet and life style.
- Eye infections, inflammation, glaucoma and many other eye diseases are treated with eye drops. Wash hands before inserting eye drops. Tilt head back, and then pull the lower lid down with the index finger creating a pocket. Squeeze the bottle and let the drop fall in the lower lid pocket. Do not touch the eye or eyelid with the bottle to prevent eye injury or contamination of the bottle.
- Smokingis the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 22.5 percent of adults (46 million) and 26 percent of high school seniors smoke. Smoking contributes to more than 440,000 deaths per year.
There is growing evidence that smoking significantly affects vision. Cigarette smoke enhances oxidants, which are the chemical byproducts in the body that can damage cells, including those in the eyes. There are strong links between several eye diseases and smoking, including cataracts age-related macular degeneration, color perception, glaucoma, dark adaptation, diabetic retinopathy, optic neuropathy, thyroid eye disease and other eye diseases.
- A diet abundant in wild-caught “fatty fish,” is recommended for its cardiovascular benefits, particularly for reducing risk of coronary heart disease, due to its omega-3 fatty acids.
Consuming five or more portions of fish per week is associated with a 13% reduction in the risk of all types of stroke. This was the conclusion reached by a team of researchers from the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill. They conducted a meta-analysis of 16 published studies involving a total of 402,127 participants, with an average 12.8 years of follow-up. The researchers concluded that: “Accumulated evidence generated from this meta-analysis suggests that fish intake may have a protective effect against the risk of stroke, particularly ischemic stroke."
Consuming omega-3 fish is also necessary for eye health. You may want to enjoy eating fish such as salmon, mackerel tuna, sardines, and trout which are rich in omega-3.
- Blepharitis is one of the most common conditions treated in our practice. It affects the eyelids and it is chronic, indicating longstanding, but the severity varies over time. In some cases, with proper treatment, the symptoms can disappear for long time periods, months or years.
- Many foods and beverages can interfere with some prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Just like different medications can interact with each other causing undesirable effects; particular combinations of foods and beverages can lessen or increase the effect of the medications.
Some medications commonly prescribed for eye conditions should be taken with food, which permits better absorption and reduce stomach upset and nausea that may be experienced. Other medications must be taken on an empty stomach, typically 2 hour prior to meal or 2 hours after a meal. Many are recommended to be taken with full glass of water.
DAIRY PRODUCTS, CALCIUM, Calcium added beverages and ANTI-ACID medications can interfere with the absorption of some antibiotics frequently prescribed for eye diseases, including tetracyclines, ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin.
IRON supplements can decrease the absorption of tetracycline antibiotics.
VEGETABLES are often recommended by optometric physicians to maintain eye health and for the prevention of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. However, vitamin-K rich vegetables such as kale, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels’s sprouts decrease the effect of blood thinners such as warfarin Coumadin).
ALCOHOL in absolutely contraindicated with many medications. Most commonly with both prescription and OTC pain relievers and antibiotics. Drinking alcohol while taking certain medications can increase drowsiness, stomach upset, and palpitation and damage the liver.
COFFEE, CHOCOLATE and caffeine containing drinks can cause nervousness when taken with some antibiotics.
GRAPEFRUIT JUICE can be dangerous with medications such as some prescribed for psychiatric conditions; calcium-channel blockers often prescribed for high blood pressure; cyclosporine and sirolimus prescribed as immune-suppressant. Not only grapefruit but also cranberry, pomegranate, and olive oil may also interfere with statins prescribed for high cholesterol.
SALT and SALTY FOODS are of issue when taking thiazide diuretics often prescribed for high blood pressure.
- Glaucomas are a group of eye diseases that damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve sends the images from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is usually caused by an eye pressure higher than the optic nerve can sustain, causing permanent damage to the optic nerve and possibly permanent loss of sight.
Fortunately, most people with glaucoma don't lose their sight, but glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. It is estimated that only half the people who currently suffer from glaucoma are aware of the disease, because it causes no symptoms until significant damage has occurred.
There is no cure for glaucoma but it can be successfully treated, especially when diagnosed early.
Anyone can suffer from glaucoma, but some people are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma:
People who are over age 40
People of African descent
People of Hispanic descent
Relatives of people with glaucoma
People with high Myopia (nearsighted)
People with diabetes
People with cardiovascular disease
People with prolonged steroid use
People with thin central corneas
People who have suffered eye trauma
- This infection is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After an initial outbreak of chickenpox, usually during childhood, the virus remains inactive within the nerve cells of the central nervous system. But in some people, the varicella-zoster virus reactivates. When this occurs, the virus travels down long nerve fibers and infects some part of the body, producing a blistering rash (shingles), fever, painful inflammations of the affected nerve fibers, and a general feeling of illness.
Varicella-zoster virus may travel to the head and neck, often affecting an eye, part of the nose, cheek, and forehead. In about 40 percent of those with shingles in these areas, the virus infects the cornea. It can affect any part of the eye.
- Tingling on one side of the body before the rash appears
- Rash followed by red patches and small blisters
- inflammation (swelling and puffiness)
- sensitivity to light
- blurred vision
- permanent scarring of the cornea, retina, optic nerve or conjunctiva
Although shingles can occur in anyone exposed to the varicella-zoster virus, the risk factors for the diseases is age, older than age 50 or a weakened immune system. People over age 80 have a five times greater chance of having shingles than adults between the ages of 20 and 40.
Corneal problems may arise months after the shingles are gone. People who have had facial shingles should have periodic follow-up eye examinations.