“People’s eyes tell me more than their mouths.”
Eye diseases affect millions of people in the USA. Just like the age old, “Which came first?” question about the chicken🐔 and the egg🐣, we might also want to ask the question about diseases of the eyes. You see (pun intended😁!), diseases of the body may first present themselves as clues within the peepers or eye diseases may result because of dysfunctions within the body… Some of these clues discussed over the next few weeks will be easy to spot by looking in the mirror, while others may require help from a friend, and others may only be seen by your favorite eye care professional.
👀According to the National Eye Institute, the eye blood vessels (those we can see with our naked eye and those that a professional can see) often reflect the condition of brain blood vessels. Blood vessels in the eyes are similar in size, structure, and function to those found in the brain. Thus, inflamed or damaged vessels within the eye are often a predictor of future dementia, cardiovascular disease or stroke. It is very important to listen and make a point of understanding any abnormality your ophthalmologist may point out. Early intervention may make a difference between vision and blindness. Other clues within the eyes are often tied to disorders and dysfunctions occurring in the body. Additionally, many medications can lead to secondary eye diseases…. another reason to avoid a polypharmacy lifestyle whenever possible!
Cataracts, glaucoma, Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy are clues we’ll start with, as they are extremely common eye diseases in the United States, affecting millions and millions of people predominantly over the age of 40. You’ll notice in our discussion that the damage likely began occurring many years earlier! #cluesyoucanuse
👀Cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans 40 years and older. Those who will be predisposed to cataracts will have a history of:
🔎Long term steroid use
🔎Excessive alcohol intake
🔎Radiation treatment or exposure to the upper body
🔎Blood pressure medications (beta blockers and ACE inhibitors)
🔎Photosensitivity causing medications that increase sensitivity of sunlight to the eyes (BCP’s, antihistamines, antidepressants, diabetes meds, NSAIDS are a few known to do this). Wear sunglasses😎 if you are on these meds!
🔎Living in an area with high air pollution. Let’s park here for just a second. We tend to think of air pollution as being something outdoors, generated by someone else. Yet in standard American households, poor air quality is inadvertently self induced with synthetic fragrance plug in’s, toxic cleaners, candles, aerosolized deodorants and hair sprays, and sprayed toxic air fresheners. Please do not do this to yourself or your family. If you haven’t yet started, begin switching over to 100% natural alternatives beginning with Thieves Household Cleaner and a diffuser with a wide variety of Young Living clean fresh scents. Ya’ll, take a moment and share your favorite fall/winter diffuser recipes in the comments!
👀Glaucoma will be most prevalent in those who have a history of:
🔎Long term steroid use
🔎Medications used in the treatment of Parkinsons, epilepsy, depression, allergies, and prostate disorders. Additionally, NSAIDS, and antipsychotics have also been implicated. Birth Control Pills have been under close scrutiny in the last decade as possible purveyors of glaucoma predisposition. Eyes have estrogen receptors within them, and many scientists believe that healthy natural estrogen levels have a protective effect on the retina. Eye disease is often insidious and damage to the optic nerve is slow. A large study released in 2011 found that women who had used birth control pills for more than 5 years had a 25% increase in their glaucoma risk.
🔎Genetics, trauma, or injury
👀Macular Degeneration is another sneaky eye disorder. Early diagnosis is usually the result of an attentive eye care professional who will recognize the telltale signs under the retina. There are some outward early clues for the potential ocularly challenged. Difficulty in judging distance when walking (making it harder to keep your balance) and slightly blurred central vision are two clues that indicate a visit to an ophthalmologist would be appropriate. 🔎Prescription medications that may predispose someone to Macular Degeneration include beta blockers and certain other blood pressure medications. Genetics also tends to play a part. That said, remember that 90% of gene expression is environmental (epigenetics) and we have much control over our environment!
👀Diabetic retinopathy is a complication usually resulting from poorly managed blood sugar. The longer blood sugar is poorly controlled, the greater the likelihood that this condition will develop. Symptoms are gradual (as with most chronic eye diseases), and include spots or “floaters” in vision, blurred vision, fluctuating vision impairment, dark or empty areas of vision, and ultimately vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness between the ages of 20-74 years old. It is no small problem, and affects an estimated 4 million people every year.
If you’ve identified yourself in any of these possible scenarios, now’s the time to add IlluminEyes to your Young Living shopping cart on the regular. We have much to talk about in the way of eye health clues and supportive measures to counter balance the stumbling blocks we’ve all encountered in our walk through life. Eyes require certain nutrients…. Vitamins A, C, E, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin are key to optimal eye health, and IlluminEyes contains all of these. It also contains dried Wolfberry fruit powder which has a unique type of zeaxanthin that naturally boosts blood levels 2-5x higher than sources acquired elsewhere. Good stuff!
Support your eyes proactively. Once the damage is done, it’s often difficult (or impossible) to reverse. See you next week with more eye clues!