Nutrition and Eye Health

Research suggests that antioxidants and other important nutrients may reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Specific antioxidants can have additional benefits as well; for example, vitamin A protects against blindness, and vitamin C may play a role in preventing or alleviating glaucoma.

The following vitamins, minerals and other nutrients have been shown to be essential for good vision and may protect your eyes from sight-robbing conditions and diseases.

Beta-Carotene
Beta-Carotene rich foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and butternut squash when taken in combination with zinc and vitamins C and E, may reduce the progression of macular degeneration.

Bioflavonoids (Flavonoids)
To help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration, eat a diet rich in bioflavonoids, which comes from tea, red wine, citrus fruits, bilberries, blueberries, cherries, legumes, and soy products.

Lutein & Zeaxanthin
Eating plenty of spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, and squash may prevent cataracts and macular degeneration because they are rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and herring, freshly ground flaxseeds, and walnuts may help prevent macular degeneration (AMD) and dry eyes.

Vitamin A
Foods such as beef or chicken liver, eggs, butter, and milk contain vitamin A and may protect against night blindness and dry eyes.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C rich foods like sweet peppers (red or green), kale, strawberries, broccoli, oranges, cantaloupe, may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Vitamin D
Foods high in vitamin D such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and milk may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. The best source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun stimulates production of vitamin D in human skin, and just a few minutes of exposure to sunlight each day will insure your body is producing adequate amounts of vitamin D.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E rich foods like almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts may reduce the risk of advanced AMD.

Zinc
Zinc rich foods such as oysters, beef, Dungeness crab, turkey (dark meat) may play a role in reducing risk of advanced AMD and reduce the risk of night blindness.

In general, it’s best to obtain most nutrients through a healthy diet, including at least two servings of fish per week and plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables.

We recommend trying Imperfect Produce– a company that sources not so perfect fruits and veggies and delivers them right to your door at 30-50% less than the grocery store. You can even get $10 off your first order!

Safely View the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Did you know that the 2017 solar eclipse will take place on August 21?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between the sun and the Earth. The area of the Earth shaded by the outer shadow of the moon (penumbra) experiences a partial eclipse; the area shaded by the central shadow (umbra) experiences a total eclipse.

From beginning to end, the eclipse will be visible for about two and a half to three hours, depending on where in the U.S. you are viewing the phenomenon. The maximum level of the eclipse (“totality”), however, lasts only a minute or two.

On the West Coast, the 2017 solar eclipse will begin around 9:06 AM and end around 11:41 AM (Pacific time). On the East Coast, it will begin around 1:03 PM and conclude around 4:06 PM (Eastern time).

Solar Eclipse Glasses: Do They Really Protect Your Eyes?
Solar eclipse glasses are inexpensive, very dark filters with cardboard or paper frames that are designed to protect your eyes from retina damage when viewing an eclipse.

But do they really work?
Staring at a solar eclipse (or staring at the sun at any time) can cause a burned retina — called solar retinopathy or solar maculopathy — that can cause permanent vision loss. So having adequate eye protection when viewing a solar eclipse is extremely important.

Most “eclipse glasses” do offer adequate protection from the sun’s potentially damaging UV rays when viewing a solar eclipse. Look for documentation somewhere on the disposable glasses that says the eclipse shades are certified to meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for safe direct viewing of the sun.

But unfortunately, according to the National Science Foundation’s American Astronomical Society (AAS), excitement about the 2017 solar eclipse has caused the marketplace to become flooded with counterfeit eclipse glasses that say they are ISO-certified when in fact they are not.

Because it is impossible to tell if eclipse glasses truly meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard (sometimes written as ISO 12312-2:2015) by simply looking at them, the AAS created a Solar Eclipse Task Force that has compiled a list of reputable manufacturers and retailers of certified eclipse glasses.

Sunglasses Are Not Enough
Sunglasses don’t provide adequate eye protection during the course of a solar eclipse.

Regular sunglasses, polarized sunglasses or photochromic lenses do not offer adequate eye protection when watching a solar eclipse.

Though these lenses provide 100 percent UV protection during general wearing conditions, the special-purpose solar filters used in genuine eclipse glasses are thousands of times darker than ordinary sunglasses to protect the eyes from the intense visible sunlight that can cause a serious retinal injury or even blindness when viewing the sun directly.

When Is The Next Solar Eclipse?
If you miss the 2017 solar eclipse, you’ll have to wait awhile to see another one in the United States. The next total solar eclipse to cross North America will take place on April 8, 2024.

ISO certified eclipse glasses are available for purchase in our office while supplies last. HAPPY VIEWING!