A variety of vitamins and minerals are essential to eye health. Vitamin E, in particular, has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) by 25%. This is significant for a vitamin that is affordable and easy to take. The study showed that 400IU was the recommended dosage to promote eye health. While this is a significantly higher dosage than the FDA recommended 4mg for men and 3mg for woman, taking less than 540 mg of Vitamin E a day should not be harmful. However, those with heart disease or diabetes should consult there doctor before taking vitamin E. We recommend that you talk to your eye doctor before starting a Vitamin E regimen.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Chung-Jung Chiu, Roy C Milton, Ronald Klein, Gary Gensler, and Allen Taylor
Background: Cross-sectional studies indicate that diets that provide a higher dietary glycemic index (dGI) are associated with a greater risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). No prospective studies have addressed this issue.
Objective: The objective was to prospectively evaluate the effect of baseline dGI on the progression of AMD.
Design: dGI was calculated as the weighted average of GIs from foods and was evaluated as being above or below the sex median (women: 77.9; men: 79.3) for 3977 participants aged 55– 80 y (58% women) in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. The 7232 eligible eyes without advanced AMD were classified into 1 of 3 AMD cat- egories: group 1 (nonextensive small drusen), group 2 (intermediate drusen, extensive small drusen, or pigmentary abnormalities), or group 3 (large drusen or extensive intermediate drusen). With the use of multifailure Cox proportional-hazards regression, we modeled the time to the maximal progression to evaluate the relation between dGI and the risk of AMD.
Results: Overall, the multivariate-adjusted risk of progression over 8 y of follow-up (x: 5.4 y) was significantly higher (risk ratio: 1.10; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.20; P = 0.047) in the high-dGI group than in the low-dGI group. The risk of progression for groups 1, 2, and 3 eyes was 5%, 8%, and 17% greater, respectively (P for trend < 0.001). The latter gives an estimate that 7.8% of new advanced AMD cases would be prevented in 5 y if people consumed the low-dGI diet. Conclusion: Persons at risk of AMD progression, especially those at high risk of advanced AMD, may benefit from consuming a smaller amount of refined carbohydrates.
June 6, 2007
Time to start thinking about sunglasses? Is it because imagining wearing sunglasses on a sunny beach makes us feel warmer in sub-zero temperatures? Partially, but more importantly, wearing sunglasses in the winter is just as important as wearing them in the summer. UV light from the sun can damage your eyes by causing cataracts to form and can even cause vision loss as UV light exposure can lead to macular degeneration. It’s easy to remember sunglasses when the sun is shining on an 80 degree day, but UV light is just as damaging when it’s -5 and we’re surrounded by snow. In fact, UV light can be even more intense in the winter than during the summer. Our normal surroundings generally reflect about 6% of the sun’s light. Snow, however, reflects 95% of the sun’s light. Anyone who’s braved the elements on a cold, sunny day has experienced how intense this reflection can be and likely reached for their sunglasses. But what about cloudy days? Do you really need to wear sunglasses when it’s been 5 days since you’ve seen the sun? The UV index may not be as intense, but it isn’t zero. Today, the UV index in Three Rivers is very close to what the UV index in Miami was yesterday.
Sunglasses will protect your eyes from more than just sun. The wind can damage your eyes by causing irritation, dryness, and even permanent damage like a pterygium. Also, a blast of snow to the face when the wind changes direction makes it pretty hard to see where the snow blower is going. Wearing a pair of sunglasses when you’re outside in the cold this weekend-even it’s for a brief driveway cleaning-will protect your eyes from UV and wind exposure. They might even make it easier to imagine that warm, sunny beach while your shoveling.
Dr. Andrew Bolles
Need to see an Eye Doctor?
After a long winter in the north I know I am ready to see more sunlight. In fact the past few
weeks we have been lucky enough to spot a few rays! With more sun exposure are you ready to
protect your eyes?
Most people do not realize that the thin skin around your eyes and the
delicate tissues/structures of your eyes are very susceptible to damage from those beautiful
sun rays. These are the same light rays that damage our skin causing cancer and
The light rays are also damaging during the winter but are 1/3 of the degree
experienced during the summer months. When light rays are reflected off surfaces such as
water and snow it magnifies the effect. This is important in the fact that we should always
protect our precious eyes/vision with sun protection.
So what should we do?
The American Optometric Association recommends the following:
Wear the right kind of sunglasses when going outside – even when
it’s overcast. The sun’s rays can be just as damaging on a cloudy day. Many sunglasses
styles do not protect the eyes from the solar radiation entering from the sides or around
the sunglass frames. However, UV blocking contact lenses can provide an important
measure of additional protection. The level of protection can vary. Contact lenses that
help protect against transmission of harmful UV rays are classified into two categories:
Class 1 and Class 2. Class 1 UV blockers provide the greatest measure of UV protection.
Talk to Your Eye Doctor
All sunglasses don’t provide UV protection. The
color of the lenses has nothing to do with it – it’s a function of the lens material or a
treatment the lens has had. That’s why some clear lenses can protect you, while some
colored lenses can’t!
Wear Sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays
If you’re not sure, have your Eye Doctor measure the lenses for UV capability. It takes just a few seconds for
complete peace of mind.
Don’t Forget the Kids!
They need UV protection too! Have them wear proper sunglasses
and hats, too. It’s also smart to keep them out of the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00
p.m. when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.
Get Checked Annually!
Early detection makes all the difference in recognizing,
preventing and treating eye diseases.
I hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable spring and enjoy those sun rays safely!
Dr. Jennifer Lambart