The Eyes Have It

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Everyone experiences changes in vision with age. But you don’t have to simply get stronger glasses with each visit to the opthamologist. There are natural ways to improve your vision, strengthen your eyes and treat conditions such as glaucoma, night blindness and myopia. Vision may be something we take for granted, but in fact, it is a complex arrangement of the refraction of light rays by the cornea and lens which form an image on the retina. The light rays are absorbed by photoreceptors which convey impulses through the Optic Nerve to the thalamus, from where visual signals pass to the vision section of the cerebral cortex. There are thought to be many different centers in the visual cortex that monitor for levels of light, color, movement, distance and recognition. Got that?

The truth is our visual sense is one of the most fascinating and complex functions we have. Just look at how effective it is in working with the brain to use surrounding information to "create" appropriate missing stimuli. That’s right... each person has a blind spot on each retina about 15 degrees off center. However, we never see this black hole in our vision, because the brain fills in the missing area with information from the surrounding visual stimuli. It also provides us with vision in three dimensions, even though our retina receives information only in two dimensions. We can even erase images in our vision that stand in the way of our focus, such as forgetting there is actually a car between your car and the red car you are actually following.

Visual neurons (nerves) account for about 30% of the section of the brain that controls sense, as compared with 8% for touch and 3% for hearing. This is necessary because of all the different aspects of vision. We must process thousands of fleeting images and make judgments about them to provide us with a stable and cognizant reality. The signs we receive visually are to enable us to distinguish one object from another, safety from danger and motion around us from the motion of spinning around while dancing.

The separate areas for vision distinction and the way in which these different aspects are joined may explain the concept of illusion. One or more of the areas is inhibited, such as watching individual frames in a movie speed up so the images appear to move continually. It leads us to believe that the movie is continuous, not individual frames, because our visual area cannot perceive the individual frames and so makes an assumption. Or if you change the brightness factor when looking at the features of a person’s face, it loses visual perception of its features and it becomes unrecognizable, like a Munch painting. Or how does any two-dimensional painting separate an object from its background?

Our visual health can be affected by a number of things, but the most prevalent is nutritional deficiency of core vitamins such as A. This can cause our eyes and the attached nerves to be more vulnerable to damage, infection environmental allergies, inflammation and even changes in fluid pressure. We forget that the sensitive balance of our vision is based strongly on the pressure of the fluids in the eye. These fluids and structures are very alkaline compared to other body tissues, and so chronic acidity of our tissues can really affect our vision.

Vitamin A is essential because it is used very intensely by the epithelial tissue of the retina. Lack of vitamin A can cause night blindness and increasing risk of infection. Carbamide with vitamin A is a great combination to break down the osmotic blockages in the eye, one of the contributing factors to glaucoma. Herbs such as Bilberry have been used for centuries in helping our vision. Known as European Blueberry it is excellent for increasing microcirculation, particularly of the retina of the eye, affecting myopia, retinitis and glaucoma. Night blindness, gout, peripheral neuropathy, nosebleeds and even hemorrhoids can be improved with this herb, because of its strong antioxidant effect on the capillaries and connective tissue. Eyebright is another wonderful herb which can be used topically as a poultice or eyewash for eye problems and as a nasal douche for inflamed mucous membranes. It helps to relieve conjunctivitis, itchy, irritated eyes. Eyebright was used in the 14th century as an eye medicine and was said to "cure all evils of the eye".

Probably one of the best nutritional formulas for the eye is Standard Process Oculotrophin PMG. This protomorphagenic compound provides support for eye strain, eye fatigue, trauma and failing eyesight. It provides all the nutrition necessary for proper balance of fluids and tissue repair within the structures of the eyes and to reduce headaches.

Iplex, another SP product is a cytosol extract designed for general eye weakness and cataracts. It acts as a natural antibiotic for the eyes and increases flushing and cleansing of the eyes.

One of the best ways to truly cleanse the eyes and restore normalized pH is with ionized Kangen Water. We use an 11.5 level of ionized water in a smalll eyecup to really flush out the eye. Even in one use, there is a remarkable improvement in vision and feeling of the eye. Once the eye is cleansed I like to suggest a Heel homeopathic formula called Traumeel for the eyes. These wonderful eye drops are great for keeping the eyes healthy and really helping to address microtrauma within the structures of the eyes.

Exercises for the eye are also important. There are many websites providing great exercises for the eyes to improve both near and distance vision with less strain and eye fatigue.

If you want my general suggestions for specific conditions, here are my most effective combinations of Standard Process and Mediherb products:

  • Glaucoma — AC Carbamide, Calcium Lacate, Oculotrophin PMG, Bilberry, Horsechestnut Complex
  • Conjunctivitis — Cataplex ACP, Calcium Lacate, Euphrasia Complex, Echinacea Premium, Eyebright, Golden Seal, Drenamin
  • Myopia — Iplex, Oculotrophin PMG, Cataplex A, Wheat Germ Oil, Bilberry Vitanox
  • Cataracts — Cruciferous Complete, Oculotrophin PMG, Cataplex ACP, Cataplex G, Biost, Cyruta, Bilberry, Licorice, Hawthorn Berries, Vitanox , Iplex
  • Hyperopia — Ribonucleic Acid, Folic Acid B12, Inositol, ForTil B12, Oculotrophin PMG
  • Dry Eyes — Cataplex G, Calsol, Cataplex ACP, Linum B6, Black Currant Seed Oil
  • Macular Degeneration — Cruciferous Complete, Cataplex A, OPC Synergy, Cataplex E2, Zinc Liver Chelate, Gingko, Bilberry, Vitanox
  • Night Blindness — Bilberry, Niacinamide B6, ForTil B12, Cataplex A,