We are all familiar with the phrase “the eyes are the window to the soul,” but what many people don’t know is that the eyes are also a window to their health! Your eyes can reveal information regarding your cholesterol levels, liver health, hypertension and risk for diabetes just to name a few. The eye provides a truly unique window into systemic and eye health. It is the only place in the body where the veins, arteries and optic nerve can all be seen without surgery. In fact, a simple visit to your optometrist can allow all of these typically hidden structures to be viewed! The eyes transparency explains why eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration can be detected early through regular eye exams by simply evaluating someone’s tissue and their best corrected vision.
Unfortunately, people get busy and delay eye exams, as well as regular physical examinations. That is why optometrists sometimes discover other issues, like diabetes or high blood pressure when they perform an annual eye exam. By putting off health exams, many people allow health problems and diseases to go undetected and unmanaged. Especially vulnerable to this are people like caregivers, who worry about others around them, while neglecting care for themselves. So plan on scheduling a comprehensive eye and vision health exam for yourself. Until then, consider the following tips for a healthy eyes and body!
➤ Stop Smoking! Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States today, and is the leading cause of death among smokers. Although many people believe that emphysema or lung cancer are the primary fatal diseases that stem from smoking, the reality is that tobacco use plays a role in a multitude of diseases that ultimately lead to disability and/or death. Smoking is the number one risk factor for macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in patients over the age of sixty. People who stop smoking usually see a significant improvement in all aspects of their health and well being.
➤ Increase your intake of foods high in antioxidants: Antioxidants are the naturally occurring nutrients found in certain fruits and vegetables. Specifically for the eyes, kale, spinach, broccoli and peas are the most beneficial. Lutein and Zeaxanthin, caratenoids found in these vegetables, have been proven to protect human cells from oxidative damage, thus greatly reducing the incidence of macular degeneration and possibly glaucoma.
➤ Omega 3 fatty acids: Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Many studies have suggested that Omega-3 fatty acids may be preventative for glaucoma and macular degeneration. Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, as well as other seafood including algae and krill.
Cockrell Eyecare invites you to come in for a comprehensive eye health and vision examination. If you have questions about what is involved with this type of exam, please contact our office in Stillwater at 405-372-1715. We also invite you to visit our website at www.cockrelleyecare.com and like us on Facebook at Cockrell Eye Care Center!