Posts in "Nutrition"

Best Eye Care for Bags Around Eyes


Eye Care, Nutrition | January 12, 2011

Ever have someone indicate that you look tired? It is a safe bet that the area around your eyes may provide a visual clue. Yes that dreaded under eye “baggage” or puffy eyes, eye bags, dark circles, and shadows. So Dr. Facchiano wants to help you explore the various reasons and treatments of this common concern. Don’t think this is an old age concern Dr. Facchiano says “the root cause can begin in subtle ways when in the twenties with little pillow like changes, so by the thirties is a noticeable cosmetic problem with full blown bags that has equal prevalence in both men and women”. Dr. Facchiano reports that there is a certain amount of fat naturally in the under-eye area that is held in place by ligaments. “As we age, those ligaments get weaker, allowing the fat to push forward, forming that little puffy pillow under your eye.”

Then unfortunately it all gets worse because the skin loses elasticity, allowing the formation of those loose wads of skin we call “bags.” The rate depends on both hereditary factors as well as lifestyle. With regard to lifestyle, Dr. Facchiano reminds patients getting enough rest matters as does aerobic capacity, so exercise is important also. Avoiding tobacco and limiting alcohol is important too. The worst accelerator of aging and wrinkles to our lower eyelids is sun exposure. So, wear sun block and UV absorbing sun glasses when outdoors. It is recommended that if you’re concerned about bags forming a lot sooner, avoid a high salt intake (salted popcorn, Chinese food, etc.) which causes the fat beneath the lower eyelid to absorb fluid and swell, making puffiness worse.

Although cosmetic surgery may certainly be the most effective and permanent treatment option there are other ways to treat under-eye bags, sags, dark circles, and puffiness. Let’s start with the time tested folk remedies that act as astringents on that delicate lid tissue. Ah! Some apply the egg whites under their eyes and let it dry. You will feel your skin tightening. When that is washed off, some report success cause this process visibly reduces under eye puffiness. Some recommend doing this on mornings when you did not catch enough sleep. Second, you can get an ice cube and rub it around your eye it helps with swelling. And many have heard that you can use either potato slices, tea bags or cucumber slices placed over the closed eye and lids in the evenings because they help too using the same principle.

Best get enough rest, drink plenty of water, wear sun block, sun glasses, avoid high salt intake and apply artificial tears to dry eyes. You may not be able to fight hereditary bags completely with folk remedies, as surgery for some cases is the most effective. Dr. Facchiano will discuss those surgical options later. But go ahead and put cucumbers on the eyes at night for about an hour before you go to bed while relaxing to music. Ahh the best thing is rest!!!!

How To Enhance Your Vision

Age-related macular degeneration is a very common and dreaded disease of our senior years which may lead to irreparable vision loss. This acquired retinal disease affects millions of elderly adults. It can cause loss of the ability to see details, causing blurry vision and possibly legal blindness. Despite the social costs that include depression and loss of interest in activities, and the societal health costs including retina eye surgery, many people are unaware that new research has proven that vitamin supplements for macular degeneration can halt the progress of this disease, and in some cases, actually improve vision.

Over 90% of macular degeneration cases are diagnosed as dry non bleeding macular degeneration. Seen most commonly in those aged 50 and older and its prevalence gets worse with age. A healthy central retina or macula is necessary for all accurate vision. Degeneration of this important aspect of the retina causes permanent reduction in vision. The fact is dry macular degeneration starts slowly and as a result many people attribute their vision loss to the natural aging process. Early detection and treatment is key to slowing its effects. There is no cure, but studies show that macular degeneration supplements work to help slow the loss due to macular degeneration. There have been many causes identified such as age, heredity, nutrition, smoking, and sunlight. Sufferers report seeing blind spots, which affect their driving and reading abilities. Failure to treat dry macular degeneration can result in permanent blind spots and chronic eye irritation.

As America’s baby boomers age, dry macular degeneration has been in the news quite a bit lately. It’s difficult to find the true facts on but our info links from AOA and all about vision include more on this topic.The retina is known to be particularly susceptible to oxidative stress as its need for oxygen is large, it is exposed to high levels of light and its membranes have high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids which are readily oxidized. Consequently, much interest has centered on studying the effects of antioxidants as a possible means of preventing the development of age-related macular degeneration.

The National Institutes of Health recently published the Age Related Eye Disease Study, or (AREDS-2). The AREDS-2 found that taking eye vitamins containing high doses of anti-oxidants and zinc minimized the progression of macular degeneration by 25%. AREDS-2 new formula included 10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin (1 tablet) 350 mg DHA and 650 mg EPA (2 soft-gel capsules). In addition the June 2008 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology indicated long-chain omega-3 essential fatty acids were shown in a study performed by researchers in Australia and Singapore to prevent the development of macular degeneration in people age 49 years or older. Since then it has been recommended that 1000mg of omega three oils or krill oil be added to the daily diet.

While sadly there is no cure for dry macular degeneration studies have shown that the specific vitamins and supplements can slow the effects of dry macular degeneration. It starts with a detailed evaluation of your retina. Dr Vincent Facchiano OD FAAO recommends that you ask your optometrist to do a dilated eye exam each year and evaluate the central retina area with HD digital images. In some cases specialized visual fields will be ordered and special laser OCT scans will be used to detect the cause of early macular vision loss. Early detection is important. For healthy eyes Dr Facchiano recommends that you protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet light with sunglasses when outdoors and ask your optometrist if there is a vitamin and supplement program that is right for you.



Nutrition | October 13, 2010

Zinc is going to be the last important nutrient talked about in these blog posts for a while. There are other important minerals and nutrients, but this is a good stopping point until a later time. The role of Zinc is  sweet and to-the-point for the role of eye care. It helps carry Vitamin A from the liver up to the retina. This helps the eye produce a protective pigment in the eye called melanin.

Where is Zinc found in foods? Lobster, Oysters, Beef, Pork, Yogurt, Salmon (bonus points for being a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids), Milk and Hardboiled Eggs. Basically, these are all my favorites so I know I’m personally getting enough Zinc to possibly give me x-ray vision. If  you aren’t getting enough Zinc, studies have linked a deficiency to things like poor night driving or impaired vision.

When you schedule your next eye exam with an Optometrist and have been eating a balanced diet with eye healthy foods, don’t be surprised if the eye doctor gives you a high-five. Many people neglect their eyes, but there are some simple and easy ways to keep them healthy for a long time.



Nutrition | October 5, 2010

DHA/EPA are docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids, respectively. More commonly, they are referred to as Omega-3 Fatty Acids. They are commonly found in cold-water fishes and have been recently found to be incredibly beneficial for health of the body and eyes. Including DHA/EPA into the daily diet has shown to be important for visual development and retinal functions. If the body is deficient in DHA/EPA, it could lead to chronic problems with dry eyes. Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, Anchovy, Trout and others are all really great sources for DHA/EPA.

DHA/EPA is definitely one of those  nutrients you must see a doctor before starting a supplemental regimen of Fish Oil. Studies have shown it can have an effect on blood pressure medications and other parts of the body, so there has to be precautions taken before intaking more  DHA/EPA.

Vitamin E


Nutrition | October 4, 2010

The next healthy nutrient on the series of posts is Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant found in nuts, some breakfast cereals, peanuts and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin E promotes the health of cell membranes. There is an important membrane in the eye called the “conjunctiva,” which helps lubricate the eyes. When it gets inflamed, the diagnosis is called conjunctivitis, or, “Pink Eye.” So that is why it is important to remember to include Vitamin E in the daily diet. Vitamin E acts along side other nutrients to slow progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

As for the proper dosages for healthy, consult optometrists before taking incorporating more Vitamin E in your diet through select foods or supplement. The reason is because The United States National Library of Medicine suggests dosages over 400 IUs a day can be harmful.

Impress your eye doctor next eye exam and tell them you have been eating healthy foods that are healthy for the eyes. Not only will the Optometrists thank you, your eyes will too.