Five best foods for healthy eyes!


Our eyes dubbed as the light of our body, need special care before they are being damaged. But many of us take this precious gift for granted, though we depend on them more than any other sense.

Remember, when our eyes are healthy, our whole body is full of light. But, when our eyes are unhealthy, our body gets filled with darkness.

Here are five foods that will keep your eyes healthy:Carrots: Carrots are rich in beta carotene (Vitamin A), which is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Spinach: Spinach is packaged with Vitamin C, beta carotene and large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin (two nutrients good for your eyes). Studies have shown that these nutrients can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Oranges: Oranges are also a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin that do wonders for your eyes.

Eggs: The yolk in eggs is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin as well as zinc, which also helps reduce your risk of macular degeneration.

Fish: Eating fishes like salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel will help keep your peepers in tip-top shape. These fishes are rich in 0mega-3 fats, which is good for your visual development, retinal function as well as serve as protection against dry eye.

Source: zee news

Staring at screens all day linked to changes in eye secretions

Staring at screens

Office workers who spend long hours looking at computer screens have changes in their tear fluid similar to people with the disease known as dry eye, according to a study from Japan.

The protein MUC5AC, secreted by cells in the upper eyelid, makes up part of the normally occurring mucus layer, or “tear film,” that keeps the eye moist. But study participants with the most screen time had MUC5AC levels nearing those of people with diagnosed dry eye.

“To understand patients’ eye strain, which is one of major symptoms of dry eye disease, it is important that ophthalmologist pay attention to MUC5AC concentration in tears,” said Dr. Yuichi Uchino, an author of the new study.

Uchino is an ophthalmologist at the School of Medicine at Keio University in Tokyo.

“When we stare at computers, our blinking times decreased compared to reading a book at the table,” he told Reuters Health by email.

People staring at screens also tend to open their eyelids wider than while doing other tasks, and the extra exposed surface area in addition to infrequent blinking can accelerate tear evaporation and is associated with dry eye disease, he said.

Dry eye may be chronic for some but can be managed with over the counter or prescription eye drops.

Past research suggests that up to 5 million men and women over age 50 in the United States suffer from dry eye disease, the researchers write in their report. In Japan, tens of millions of people report some dry eye symptoms, often associated with computer work, they add.

The study team tested the tears from both eyes of 96 Japanese office workers, about two-thirds of them men, and measured how much of the total protein content of the tears was MUC5AC.

Workers employed in jobs involving computer screens filled out questionnaires about their working hours and symptoms of any eye problems.

Seven percent of men and 14 percent of women were diagnosed with ‘dry eye disease,’ meaning they reported symptoms of eye problems like irritation, burning or blurred vision and had poor quality or quantity of tear film, according to the tests.

Overall, participants looked at screens for work for just over eight hours a day and had an average of about 6.8 nanograms of MUC5AC per milligram of protein in each eye.

However, people who worked with computer screens for more than seven hours per day had an average of 5.9 ng/mg of MUC5AC, compared to 9.6 ng/mg for people who spent fewer than five hours daily with screens.

Similarly, people with definite dry eye disease had an average of 3.5 ng/mg of MUC5AC compared to 8.2 ng/mg for people without the disease.

“Mucin is one of the most important components of the tear film,” said Dr. Yuichi Hori, who was not a part of the new study. “Mucins (like MUC5AC) function to hold water on the ocular surface of the epithelia that synthesize them, hence, they are major players in maintenance of the tear film on the ocular surface,” Hori told Reuters Health by email.

He is chair of the department of Ophthalmology at Toho University Omori Medical Center in Tokyo.

Concentration of the protein was also lower for people with symptoms of eye strain than for people without symptoms, according to the results published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

People with dry eyes at work tend to be less productive and are more likely to be depressed, according to previous studies, Uchino said.

Office workers who are worried about dry eye can make some simple changes to decrease their risk, Uchino said.

“The exposed ocular surface area can be decreased by placing the terminal at a lower height, with the screen tilted upward,” Uchino said.

Doctors also recommend using a humidifier at the office and avoiding being in the direct path of the wind from an air conditioner, he said.

“We advise the office workers suffering from ocular fatigue and dry eye symptoms that they should blink more frequently in an intended manner during (screen use), and that they should use artificial tears,” Hori said.

“And they should ask an eye care doctor if their symptoms still remain.”

Source: fox news

Scientists visualize new treatments for retinal blindness

A new report published in The FASEB Journal may lead the way toward new treatments or a cure for a common cause of blindness (proliferative retinopathies). Specifically, scientists have discovered that the body’s innate immune system does more than help ward off external pathogens. It also helps remove sight-robbing abnormal blood vessels, while leaving healthy cells and tissue intact. This discovery is significant as the retina is part of the central nervous system and its cells cannot be replaced once lost. Identifying ways to leverage the innate immune system to “clean out” abnormal blood vessels in the retina may lead to treatments that could prevent or delay blindness, or restore sight.

“Our findings begin to identify a new role of the innate immune system by which endogenous mediators selectively target the pathologic retinal vasculature for removal,” said Kip M Connor, a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Ophthalmology at the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Angiogenesis Laboratory. “It is our hope that future studies will allow us to develop specific therapeutics that harnesses this knowledge resulting in a greater visual outcome and quality of life for patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy or retinopathy of prematurity.”

To make this discovery, Connor and colleagues compared two groups of mice, a genetically modified group which lacked activity in the innate immune complement system, and a normal group with a fully functional innate immune system. Researchers placed both groups in an environment that induced irregular blood vessel growth in the eye, mimicking what happens in many human ocular diseases. The mice that were lacking a functional innate immune system developed significantly more irregular blood vessels than the normal mice, indicating that the complement system is a major regulator of abnormal blood vessel growth within the eye. Importantly, in the normal mice, scientists were able to visualize the immune system targeting and killing only the irregular blood vessels while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

“Knowing how the complement system works to keep our retinas clean is an important first-step toward new treatments that could mimic this activity,” said Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “It’s a new understanding of how proliferative retinopathies rob us of sight, and promises to let us see the path ahead clearly.”

Source: India medical Times

Is Blinking keeps your Eyes Clean and Clear

Blinking is a crucial part of keeping the right amount of moisture in the eye surface, especially during cold, dry weather. It coats the eye with a fresh layer of tears while also cleaning the surface and moisturizing it. It is an almost subconscious action that means a lot to a dry eye patient.

Whether you work at a computer for +8hrs, watch a movie, or live in a dry environment, a slow blinking rate will increase your dry eye symptoms. Under normal circumstances, your blinking rate is an average 4 seconds, about 15 times a minute. When using the computer or staring at any other bright screen our blinking rate decreases by up to a whopping 70%!

Blink break! Before you continue reading… blink a couple of times.
Will blinking alone help my dry eyes during the day?
There are various blinking exercises that can help you further improve the condition of your eyes. These are designed to work your eye muscles and maintain your eyesight during the day.

Look at a distant object
This exercise benefits people who are glued to a monitor all day (iPads, tablets and smartphones included). In this day and age, people are dependent on technology for a larger number of daily tasks. We stare at bright screens a short distance from our eyes and this is causing eye strain, since our eyes are at rest when we look at distant objects.

So the first exercise goes like this: find a window, any window; now focus on a distant tree or car for 10 to 15 seconds. Slowly refocus your eyes on an object closer to you without moving your head. Focus on this new object for another 10 to 15 seconds. Do this 4 to 5 times, going back and forth between the distant object and the closer one.

Shut, squeeze, rinse and repeat This one’s a fairly quick one. Shut your eyes quickly, squeeze them and feel your facial muscles moving. Keep this for 3-5 seconds. Open your eyes slowly and relax the muscles, keep them open for another 3-5 seconds. Repeat this process 6 or 7 times.

Clockwise… counter-clockwise Roll your eyes clockwise one full round, then counter-clockwise another full round. Next, move your eyes up and down, then left and right. Finish up this exercise but looking at your nose tip.

Palming  works to relax your eyes and your mind. It is inspired by Yoga Eye Exercises and you can do this anywhere. To get started sit comfortably and rub your palms against each other until you feel them warm up (Mr. Miyagi-style!). Turn your palms facing upwards and place them over your eyes, making sure you are not covering your nose and that no light filters through them. Once your palms are positioned correctly, feel the warmth coming from your palms and close your eyes.

Concentrate on the complete darkness and relax your mind for a minute. Benefits of blinking exercises for dry eye patients These exercises will help you relax your eyesight, clear tear ducts and prevent further vision deterioration. It is recommended that you exercise your eyes for 5 minutes for every 30 to 40 minutes of near vision work.

Source: All about dry eye

The village where half the people are at risk of blindness


In the village school of Kuyu, in the heartland of Ethiopia’s Oromia region, more than 20 children put up their hands when asked if anyone in their family has eye problems.

“My mother has lost vision in one eye and the other is causing her big problems,” says one boy. “She can’t see where she’s going.”

Another child says her grandmother is blind in both eyes and is forever pulling out her eyelashes. “She rubs and rubs them,” explains the nine-year-old girl. “They give her terrible pain.”

No hands are raised when the children are asked if they themselves have vision problems.

Yet, when an ophthalmologist examines the children’s eyes, more than half of them are discovered to have infectious trachoma, a bacterial infection which is the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness.

The disease starts in childhood. If untreated, the bacteria causes inflammation that leads to scar tissue building up under the eyelid.

The scarring eventually makes the eyelid turn inwards, causing the eyelashes to scratch against the cornea.

It is excruciatingly painful and if left untreated leads to irreversible blindness.

“The dangerous thing about trachoma is that there are very few symptoms for children,” says Dr Wondu Alemayehu, one of the leading eye specialists in Ethiopia, and technical adviser for the Fred Hollows Foundation, which is leading a campaign in Ethiopia to tackle the scourge of trachoma.

“A child with trachoma would have a little bit of discomfort but not that much.

“It’s what they pass on to their mothers that can become dangerous.”

The World Health Organization estimates that 21 million people are affected by trachoma, of whom about 2.2 million are visually impaired and 1.2 million blind.

The Oromia region in southern Ethiopia is home to more than 30 million people and has the highest prevalence of trachoma in the country at around 42%. The disease prevails in hot dusty areas where people often lack access to sanitation.

Some three miles (5km) from the school, at a clinic set up to screen for trachoma, 60-year-old Sharage Feyine waits patiently to be examined.

She rubs her eyes incessantly and says her vision problems – pain in both eyes and terrible itching – began a year ago.

“I used to be able to cook for my family. Now I have become dependent,” she says.

Relief to thousands
“The pain and the devastation of trachoma can be stopped by 10 minutes of surgery,” says Dr Alemayehu.

Dr Alemayehu has trained a team of local health workers to perform trichiasis surgery in their community.

The surgery is designed to rotate the eyelid outwards, directing the eyelashes away from the eyeball.

Without the correction, the pain and scarring continues, eventually causing blindness.

Going from village to village, the team is taking treatment directly to those suffering from the disease.

Within Oromia alone, 200,000 people are at risk of going blind unless they have surgery.

Women are twice as likely as men to develop the disease as a result of caring for children who have active trachoma.

Mapping the problem
“Trachoma is a disease of poverty,” says Simon Bush, director of the Neglected Tropical Disease programme at Sightsavers.

“It is endemic in areas which have poor access to water and sanitation.”

The British charity is leading a coalition of NGOs with the ambitious aim of ridding the world of trachoma by 2020.

The first step is to map the prevalence of the disease – a global survey to examine four million people in more than 30 countries by March 2015.

The Global Trachoma Mapping Project, funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development, will identify where people are living at risk of the disease and where treatment programmes are needed.

Key to the mapping process are specially trained ophthalmic nurses who visit each household in the survey area.

Using an app installed on a mobile device, results are instantly uploaded to a site which charts the mapping process.

Monitors also provide antibiotics to anyone showing signs of the infection, and refer those who cannot be treated in this way for surgery.

Two days after surgery, Misiak , a woman in her 40s, returns to the clinic with some trepidation to have her bandages removed.

She admits to having had a sleepless night, worrying about the outcome.

Dr Wondu Alemayehu watches proudly as two members of his surgical team remove Misiak’s bandages before applying ointment to both eyes.

Sitting up, Misiak is initially dazed, but as she begins to realise she can see again, a huge smile lights up her face.

“You are all beautiful!” she exclaims, reaching out to touch Dr Alemayehu’s hand.

Source: BBC news

No More Eye Drops? New Contact Lens Delivers Glaucoma Meds

Like a miniature donut stuffed inside a tiny pita pocket, a common glaucoma medicine is sandwiched inside this specially designed contact lens. In laboratory experiments, the lens, which can also correct vision, releases the eyesight-saving medication at a steady rate for up to a month. Its construction offers numerous potential clinical advantages over the standard glaucoma treatment and may have additional applications, such as delivering anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics to the eye.

Glaucoma is a group of conditions that can result in irreversible blindness. This vision loss can be reduced if glaucoma is found and treated early, most commonly with eye drops to lower pressure within the eye. But using eye drops regularly can be a challenge. And while the drops can minimize further vision loss, they don’t repair vision that’s already lost.

People using traditional eye drops for glaucoma “aren’t getting any symptomatic relief, and they’re not seeing better, so there’s not a lot of motivation to be compliant with the medication,” said Joseph Ciolino, an ophthalmologist who, along with his mentor Daniel Kohane, developed the new contact lens at Harvard Medical School.

Source: Daily me

Electrical burn causes star-shaped cataracts in patient’s eyes


A 42-year-old electrician in California developed star-shaped cataracts in his eyes after a serious work-related accident caused electricity to run through his body, according to a new report of the case.

The man’s left shoulder came into contact with 14,000 volts of electricity, and an electric current passed through his entire body, including the optic nerve — the nerve that connects the back of the eye to the brain.

“The optic nerve is similar to any wire that conducts electricity,” said Dr. Bobby Korn, an associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of California, San Diego, who treated the patient. “In this case, the extreme current and voltage that passed through this important natural wire caused damage to the optic nerve itself,” Korn said.

Four weeks after the accident, Korn evaluated the patient, who was experiencing vision problems. An examination showed the man had “striking cataracts in both of his eyes,” that were star-shaped, Korn said. A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye.

The reason cataracts sometimes take on a star shape is not fully understood, Korn said. In animal studies, damage to the eye’s lens from electricity first appears as small bubbles called vacuoles on the outside of the lens. These bubbles then coalesce to form a star-shaped cataract, Korn said.

Four months after the accident, the man had surgery to remove the cataracts and implant a new lens, and his vision improved slightly after the operation, Korn said. But the damage to his optic nerve still limited the man’s sight, Korn said.

Korn explained that the eye is like a camera: If the lens is damaged, it can be replaced with a new one, but if the “film” — in this case, the optic nerve and retina — is damaged, “then you’ll never get a good picture,” Korn said.

Now, 10 years later, the man still has poor vision in both of his eyes, Korn said. But he is able to commute on public transportation and take classes at a community college using assistance, Korn said.

The man’s case is reported in the Jan. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Source: NBC news


Tips to make your eyes look more beautiful with kajal or kohl

Kajal has been used since centuries not only in India but also in other parts of the world especially Egypt, Africa and the Middle East. Women used it to enhance the beauty of their eyes and continue to do so. Soon, the tradition became popular and spread to other parts of the world. This made this cosmetic quite popular and these days, you can find kajal or kohl in almost every cosmetic store.

In earlier days, kajal was made using galena (obtained from lead) or soot. Some animal fat was added to it by Egyptians for easy application. Kajal was stored in boxes and also in the form of sticks. Not only was it used for beautification, it was also believed to protect one’s eyes from the harmful rays of the sun and to ward off insects. The dark colour of the kajal was responsible for this function. Many Indians apply small dots of kajal on the newborn’s face to protect the baby from any evil.

How to apply kajal correctly

Kohl application can be tricky for many as it needs to be right to look good. Smudgy or irregular lines can make your eyes look bad and spoil the look. In order to avoid such a scenario, follow these tips:

Kajal comes in a variety of packaging. From traditional surma boxes which needs to be applied with the help of your finger, to pencil sticks which are much easier to apply. Depending on the look you wish to create, keep both the thick and thin sticks handy.

Start from the inner corners of your eyelids to the outside. You can experiment with your look by drawing out the line a little more than where your eyelid ends, giving it a cat-eye look.

To apply on your lower lid, gently pull the lower lid with the help of your ring finger and look in the upward direction. Now draw out a line with the kajal stick with the help of your other hand. Don’t press too hard and avoid getting any inside your eye.

Try to get the line as straight as possible. The best way to achieve this is by standing in front of the mirror and practising. Make a single clean sweep with the pencil to get it right. You can then make it darker or thicker if you wish.

Sharpen the tip of the pencil from time to time. A blunt tip will give you thicker lines.

These days, you also get liquid kajal eyeliners in the market. You can use these too as they will be long-lasting, more dramatic in their effect and won’t smudge once they dry completely. But keep its application limited to just your upper eyelids. For lower eyelids, use dry kajal. Also, when applying liquid kajal, keep your eyes shut for a minute to let it dry.

Also, cosmetic kohl may contain preservatives so it is best to remove them before going to bed with the help of an eye make-up remover.

Some other eye make-up etiquettes

  • The first rule for eye make-up is to avoid sharing it with anyone, not even with your best friend or sister as it is easy to get bacterial infection from one person to the other.
  • Avoid applying any form of cosmetic inside the eye or the inner lining especially if you wear contact lens.
  • If you have an eye infection then do not apply any make-up as it will further irritate the eye and can also lead to more infection.
  • Do not use cosmetics beyond their expiry date.
  • Always remove any speck of make-up at the end of the day.
  • Always cap the cosmetics after use to avoid any chance of infection.
  • If the make-up or make-up remover irritates your eyes, just stop its use.
  • Never apply eye make-up when you are in a vehicle as one bump is enough to poke your eye and cause serious damage.

Source: The health site