Sunday, 27 January 2013
A cataract in this context means a loss of transparency of the lens of the eye, a condition which either impairs or destroys vision. There are several different types of cataracts, as follows: the traumatic type occurs from physical injury; the irradiation type occurs from exposure to rays; the complicated type occurs from ocular disease; and the congenital type occurs due to improper formation during fetal life.
Cataracts, other than ones present at birth, are caused by injury, aging, heavy metal poisoning, X-rays, exposure to ultraviolet light, eye infections, the use of certain drugs such as steroids, arising as a consequence of diabetes or nutritional deficiencies in the diet. In diabetics, excess sugar in the blood migrates to the eyes causing them to swell resulting in damage.
If you engage in combative sports where there is physical contact like boxing or rugby union football, you are running the risk of sustaining an eye injury. However, the organisers of these sports do have trained medical staff in attendance at all times. The eyes should be protected by goggles if you are employed as welder, or in certain metal processes, likely to damage the eyes. If you are engaged in any of these activities, all the necessary precautions should be taken at all times to protect the eyes from any possible injury.
X-rays, beta rays and other radiation sources in sufficient doses can cause ocular injury. However, when these are used by professionals in the diagnosis of health problems, every possible safety precaution is taken. Ultraviolet radiation can damage the corneal epithelium. This is mainly the result of exposure to the sun at high altitude. Wear sunglasses if you are exposed to the sun when it is strongest, and don’t use sunbeds for tanning purposes without eye protection.
A small or underdeveloped optic nerve is known as optic nerve hypoplasia, and is one of the leading causes of vision problems or blindness in children. It occurs at the early stages of fetal development when the eyes are forming. If you suspect that your infant has vision problems, have your doctor carry out a CT or MRI scan to look for brain defects. There is no known treatment or cure for optic nerve hypoplasia at the present time.
If you are a type 1 diabetic, you need to take insulin shots as outlined by your doctor in order to ensure that your blood sugar levels do not fluctuate rapidly and thereby damage the eyes. If you are a type 2 diabetic, you can make sure your blood sugar levels move on an even keel by adhering to the diet, exercise and food supplement suggestions in my December 2012 post titled “ How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes “. If you are on drugs containing steroids for an ailment, such as gout for example, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce the risk of such treatment affecting your eyesight.
Cataracts arising as a consequence of aging or a nutritional deficiency can be prevented by adhering to a sensible diet. Apples, blueberries, coconuts, olives and pineapple are fruits that strengthen weak eyes. Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, onions, turnips, lettuce and watercress are vegetables that aid the eyes. Yeast, liver, kidney, cheese, oily fish, egg yolk and whole grains are foods that make sure you are not deficient in vitamin B2 or the mineral selenium. If you cannot get enough of these from food sources, then take supplements to make sure there isn’t a deficiency.
Herbs which can be taken to help the eyes in the ways indicated, are as follows: chaparral acts as an antioxidant, rebuilds tissue and is high in potassium; eyebright stimulates the liver to cleanse the blood with a beneficial knock –on effect on the eyes; and bilberry has a relaxing effect on the eyes.
If you are interested in further information on eyesight, then a book I would recommend is titled The Eyes Have It by Earlyne Chaney. This is a self-help manual for better eyesight, and you should be able to pick up the paperback version from Amazon for less than $10.
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Acne is an inflammatory disease of the skin arising from obstruction of the sebaceous glands. It usually affects the face but other parts of the body can also be disfigured by it on a temporary basis. It most frequently occurs among teenagers following puberty. If severe occurrences of it are not treated, then scar tissue can form in the area of the outbreak.
Acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum, a fatty secretion produced by small glands under the skin, causing clogging of the pores leading to a bacterial infection. The overproduction of sebum can be caused by the following: an intake of foods high in saturated fats or sugars which become saturated fat in the blood; a vitamin A or zinc deficiency; an allergic reaction to a polluted environment, certain foods or to cosmetics.
An overabundance of toxins in the body overwhelms normal channels of secretion, such as the bowls, urinary tract and the lungs. When this happens, the excess toxins are excreted through the skin, which combine with surface bacteria, causing the infection.
Conventional treatments for acne in the form of antibiotics, drying agents or creams do not work because they do not address the underlying cause of the problem. What is causing the body to react in such a way as to excrete toxins through the skin needs to be identified as soon as possible. An unbalanced diet containing too many saturated fats or sugars is the answer in the majority of cases.
If you are currently suffering from an outbreak of acne, avoid anything interfering with the kidney’s ability to do its job, which includes an intake of refined sugars, saturated fats, processed meats, fried foods, alcohol and coffee. Cut down on anything containing a high carbohydrate content, and get enough daily protein from a combination of vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs, wholegrain cereals, wholegrain bread and non-fat yogurt.
If the symptoms persist after your change of diet, it may be prudent to check with your doctor about testing for an allergic reaction to certain foods. If you regularly apply cosmetics to your skin, stop for a while to see if an outbreak of acne will subside. If you are a smoker, it is best to stop and try to avoid all secondary smoke as far as possible. Try to avoid working or being in places that brings you into contact with chemicals.
In order to ensure there isn’t a deficiency of vitamin A or zinc in the diet, the food sources of these are beef liver, egg yolk, fish, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, lettuce, leafy green vegetables, melon, apricots, oranges and wholegrain bread. If you fail to get enough of these from food sources, then food supplements can be taken instead.
The following herbs can also help with acne in the ways indicated: horsetail tones the skin; red clover is a blood purifier and cleanser; dandelion root is a liver cleanser; silymarin (milk thistle) aids the regeneration of liver cells needed to detoxify the body of poisons; it also helps prevent the liver cells from damage.
Some things you can do to an affected area of the skin are: keep the skin clean by just washing with water without soap; apply aloe vera gel three times a day; rub the inside of a banana peel over the affected area prior to going to bed.
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