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Archive for August, 2011

An Eye Diet Plan for All Ages

We are bombarded with the latest and greatest diet plans to help us lose weight and look like a movie star.  While it’s unrealistic for any one diet plan to fit the needs of everyone, many of these diet plans do focus on the importance of providing your body with healthy foods, rich in nutrients essential for your body to perform at optimal levels.

Your eyes are no different. Clear vision and healthy eyes are reliant on proper nutrition. The next time you are in the grocery store or open the refrigerator door to “see” what looks good, ask yourself if that particular food is beneficial to your eye health and overall vision.


You have probably heard how antioxidants are critical in the prevention of heart diseases and cancers. Just like other parts of your body, they are also very important in the prevention of eye diseases. Antioxidants are found in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Here’s a list of a few key vitamins and minerals (nutrients) vital to maximizing eye health and maintaining clear vision:

Vitamin A    

Vitamin A helps the retina function properly as well as reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Foods rich in Vitamin A include, but are not limited to:

  • Liver (Beef liver, Chicken liver, Turkey liver)
  • Paprika
  • Carrots
  • Eggs
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Herbs (Parsley, Thyme, etc.)
  • Butternut Squash

Vitamin C

Vitamin C also helps reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts. Foods rich in Vitamin C include, but are not limited to:

  • Citrus Fruits  (Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons, Limes)
  • Strawberries
  • Tropical Fruits (Papaya and Kiwi)
  • Chili Peppers
  • Dark Leafy Greens (Kale, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens,  Spinach, Lettuces)
  • Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts
  • Fresh Herbs (Thyme, Parsley, etc.)
  • Guavas

Vitamin E

Vitamin E has been shown to help prevent cataracts and slow the growth of cataracts that have developed.  Foods rich in Vitamin E include, but are not limited to:

  • Tropical Fruits such as Papaya and Kiwi  (Note how these fruits contain more than just one beneficial vitamin)
  • Wheat germ (Most Vitamin E is found in the germ)
  • Nuts and Seeds (Almonds, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Pistachios, Cashews, Pecans, Macadamias, Sunflower Seeds)
  • Dark Leafy Greens such as Spinach, Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard and Kale  (Note how these foods contains many essentials vitamins and minerals)
  • Oils (Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Safflower Oil, Corn Oil)


Zinc is an essential mineral for eye health. In fact, zinc concentrations in the eyes are higher than any other part of the human body. People with macular degeneration typically have low levels of zinc in the retina. Eating foods rich in zinc can help prevent macular degeneration. Foods high in zinc include, but are not limited to:

  •  Beef
  • Pork
  • Oysters
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Yogurt
  • Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder


Selenium is another mineral important for maximum eye health.  A person with cataracts has a significantly lower level of selenium than someone who does not have cataracts. Therefore, maintaining proper levels of selenium are important to prevent cataracts from forming. Foods rich in selenium include, but are not limited to:

  • Fish (Tuna, Cod, Salmon, Sardines, Flounder, Halibut)
  • Mushrooms (Button mushrooms, Shiitakes, Criminis)
  • Onions
  • Poultry (Chicken and Turkey)
  •  Brazil Nuts
  • Grains (Wheat germ, oats, brown rice, barley)

Talk to Your Eye Doctor About Your Eye Diet

It’s important to talk to your optometrist and discuss what foods you are eating and what foods you should be eating to promote good eye health and clear vision.  It’s also beneficial to speak with your eye doctor about ingesting vitamins and minerals naturally by eating foods rich in eye-healthy nutrients or whether a vitamin or mineral supplement is appropriate for your particular needs.

To learn more about quality eye care and eye wear at all stages in your life, please visit

Back to School Checklist: Make Your Student’s Eye Care #1

The start of another school year is just around the corner. Many of us have made our list of things we need to do and purchase in order to properly prepare our children for another year of formal education. When you’re out visiting the mall buying new clothes or filling up your shopping cart with notebooks, pens, pencils, backpacks, organizers and similar school supply items, don’t forget to squeeze in a worthwhile visit to the eye doctor for an exam. In fact, eye care for your student(s) should be at the top of your list. Here’s why:

The Best Learning Method

Extensive research in educational theory has shown that visual learning is among the very best methods for teaching students of all ages how to learn. According to research, students remember information at a much higher rate when that information is presented visually. The optimal presentation for learning and retaining information is a blend of (1) visually seeing the information; (2) verbally saying or hearing the information and; (3) physically writing the information.

Visual Clarity Affects Learning

How do you react when you see a complex diagram or an abundance of written text? Is your first reaction to jump right in and study it further or do you reluctantly approach it? How do your children (students) approach information like this?

Many studies show that visual clarity of information being studied greatly impacts the ease at which it is learned. Whether it’s a chart on a projection screen, an article in a newspaper or a page in a textbook, most people will have a positive approach to the information if they can see it clearly and easily. This has huge implications on learning. Positive or negative feelings and perceptions determine the levels of motivation, comprehension and retention that will be achieved.

Crisp, clear and accurate vision is the firm foundation from which successful academic performance can be built.

Easy to Read is Perceived as Easy to Do

Studies show that when information and instructions are easy to read, people tend to think it will not take much time and effort and dive right in. On the other hand, when information and instructions are not easy to read, people perceive the task to be difficult, time consuming and are reluctant to approach it.

Communicate with Your Eye Doctor

Talk to your eye doctor and discuss ways to enhance all areas of your child’s visual health. More than likely, it will enhance his or her academic performance and confidence.  This applies to students of all ages.

To learn more about quality eye care and eye wear, please visit

Special Vision Needs for Internet and Cellular Use

We live in a digital world where the demands placed upon our eyes are growing exponentially. These demands now start at a very young age and continue throughout every stage of our life. We depend upon a TV, computer or smart phone at school, at work and to socialize with family and friends.  The importance of seeing clearly and comfortably at a range of approximately 1-3 feet is critical to everyday life.  This significance will only grow in the future as more and more of life’s tasks, functions and pleasures are conducted electronically.

Beyond Reading Glasses

Extended periods of time watching videos on YouTube, posting on facebook, searching on Google, tweeting on Twitter, networking on Linkedin, texting a friend or chatting with a family member commonly lead to health problems such as tired eyes, headaches and neck pain. To address these conditions, computer hardware and software manufactures as well as cell phone and smart phone manufactures are constantly developing new features, screen displays and fonts that are more eye-friendly.  However, more specialized eyeglass lenses beyond the capabilities and features of traditional reading glasses may be required to properly and effectively utilize technology and prevent chronic health conditions. Bifocals and Progressive lenses are not designed for computer and smart phone use. They may cause eye strain as well as neck and back pain as you adjust your body in the quest to find a position where your vision is clear and focused through your lenses.

Visual Fatigue Syndrome

Visual Fatigue Syndrome or VFS is typically caused by focusing on objects in the 1-3 feet vision range for extended periods of time. Symptoms of Visual Fatigue Syndrome may include Tired Eyes, Eyestrain, Blurred Vision, Dry Eyes, Burning Eyes, Headaches, Neck Pain and Back Pain.  More and more people are suffering from VFS due to the demands of their digital world. VFS can reduce your productivity and your ability to concentrate which often times leads to increased stress.

Talk to Your Eye Doctor

A candid conversation with your eye doctor can help you immensely with the demands of today’s technology as well as avoiding or reducing the effects of Visual Fatigue Syndrome.  It’s important to discuss your career and lifestyle demands with your eye doctor, especially as it relates to your use of technology equipment. What specific equipment you utilize on daily basis and the duration of use can be particularly helpful. For example, tell your eye doctor that you spend 6 hours a day working at a computer with a 15” monitor or you spend the majority of your day using an iPad.  Armed with this type of information, your eye doctor can offer valuable guidance on preparing your environment for optimal vision such as proper lighting and how to position your equipment.  In addition, your eye care professional can also recommend and prescribe special lenses that match the demands of your digital lifestyle.

Eyeglass Lenses Designed for the Computer and Visual Fatigue

To keep up with the modern world and its visual demands, eyeglass lens manufacturers are continually developing new specialty lenses.  Computer lenses provide a wide “near” area in order to see the entire computer screen clearly and comfortably with a small “distance” area so you can see across the room.  Anti-fatigue lenses are specialized lenses targeted at improving the “near” vision needed to operate a laptop, tablet computer or smart phone  and relieving the symptoms of visual fatigue such as burning eyes,  blurry vision, headaches and watery eyes.

Technology greatly improves our productivity and ability to communicate with others.  Make sure you are equipping yourself with the proper eyewear to keep up with the demands of your digital life and promote maximized eye health.

To learn more about quality eye care and eye wear, please visit

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