We use our eyes to read, appreciate things around us and connect with our loved ones so it is important to take care of our eyes so they remain healthy and disease free.
A healthy diet, maintaining an ideal weight, avoiding smoking, managing stress and wearing sunglasses when going outdoors are just some of the easy practices that can help protect our vision. Incorporating some medicinal plants in our diet and routines may also benefit our eye health. Here are some herbs that can help prevent and treat eye problems:
Ginkgo can help improve blood flow to the retina, the layer at the back of the eyes that contain cells sensitive to light. Findings of studies suggest that ginkgo extracts can help improve the vision of people with glaucoma. Ginkgo is also an antioxidant that can protect nerve cells including those found in the eyes.
Antioxidants help fight free radicals that cause oxidative damage to the organs of the body including the eyes. Low antioxidant levels have been associated with elevated risks for a range of eye problems such as macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.
Bilberry contains potential antioxidant flavonoids known as anthocyanins. World War II Royal Air Force pilots reported that eating bilberry jam helped improve their night vision.
Studies conducted in the 1980s showed promise for bilberry for managing glaucoma and cataracts. Other studies also showed that the extracts protect the nerve cells in the retina and block the formation of new blood vessels, a process associated with diseases of the retina such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Fennel is long believed to provide relief from inflamed or watery eyes. Some people with serious eye conditions such as cataract and glaucoma use fennel tea as an eyewash. In a 2000 study, researchers found that a drop of fennel aqueous seed extract reduced intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients, which means that fennel could one day be used as an anti-glaucoma medication or eye drop solution.
Most common eye problems develop slowly so people may not notice the symptoms until the disease has become more severe. Healthy lifestyle choices and the use of herbs that can benefit the eyes may help reduce odds for eye diseases but one the best strategies for protecting our vision is getting regular eye examinations. Contact See Island Eyecare today for your eye examination. Early detection and treatment of eye problems may help prevent vision loss.