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Rational Wellness Podcast 046: Eye Health with Dr. Travis Zigler

Rational Wellness Podcast 046: Eye Health with Dr. Travis Zigler 4

Rational Wellness Podcast 046

Dr. Travis Zigler speaks about Eye Health with Dr. Ben Weitz. 

Podcast Highlights

1:42  Dr. Zigler mentions some of the conditions of the eye that we can improve with diet and lifestyle changes, including dry eye, macular degeneration, gluacoma, and cataracts.

3:01  Dr. Zigler explains how to prevent and treat dry eye, including an anti-inflammatory plant based diet with lots of leafy green vegetables. He also recommends drinking a lot of water to hydrate the body and the eyes. Warm compresses and massage to the eyelids can help to soften and facilitate the flow of oil from the Meibomian glands that help to keep the eyes moist. Dr. Zigler also recommends using a spray cleanser on the eyes using hypocholous acid to kill bacteria that often develop on the eyelids and cause blepharitis.

6:52  We discussed the benefits of taking omega 3 fish oils and eating fish as well as whether it is a good idea or not to rub coconut oil into the eyes for lubrication.

9:22  There are a number of medications that can result in dry eyes, including antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, birth control medications, and blood pressure medications. Thyroid disease (both hyper and hypo), high blood pressure, and diabetes also tend to lead to dry eyes. Also post-menopausal hormone imbalances can result in dry eyes.

11:42  We talked about how blue light from computers, TVs, and phones results in dry eyes and macular degeneration.

13:50  Dr. Zigler explained dietary approaches that can help to prevent or reverse macular degeneration, including supplements like lutein, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin, zinc, and omega-3s, and eating kale and spinach. 

18:00  We discussed whether exercises for the eye, such as the Bates method, can help to improve eyesight. There is also something called vision therapy that helps the eyes to work together better and helps with conversion insufficiency, conversion excess, and a few other problems.

21:45  Dr. Zigler explained what causes floaters in the eye.

23:30  We discussed glaucoma and what can be done about it. 

28:20  Dr. Zigler discussed cataracts, what causes them, such as vitamin C deficiency, and what to do about cataracts.

Rational Wellness Podcast 046: Eye Health with Dr. Travis Zigler

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also specializing in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure as well as chiropractic work by calling the office 310-395-3111.

The 5 Scary Stages Of Diabetic Retinopathy

The 5 Scary Stages Of Diabetic Retinopathy 0

The 5 Scary Stages Of Diabetic Retinopathy

The 5 Scary Stages Of Diabetic Retinopathy

What Are the Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Retinopathy is a condition in which the eye’s blood vessels leak fluid or blood, causing the retina to swell and become compromised. The condition can eventually lead to compromised vision or, potentially, permanent blindness. This condition is more likely in patients with long-term diabetes, as the poor blood circulation associated with that condition can exacerbate and accelerate damage to the retina over time.

As over 10 million Americans currently suffer from diabetes, there has been ample opportunity for the stages of diabetic retinopathy to be observed and documented by physicians and researchers. The first stage of diabetic retinopathy occurs when patients exhibit mild background retinopathy, in which minuscule bulges appear in the walls of blood vessels in the retina. Very small amounts of  blood may leak through these microaneurysms, one of the early hallmarks of the condition. In general, vision is not yet affected at this stage, which means this is the ideal opportunity to catch the problem through regular diabetic eye exams before vision problems present themselves.

The second stage comes when the condition progresses to moderate and severe nonproliferative retinopathy, in which the volume of blood leaking into the retina through microaneurysms will increase. The first noticeable effects on vision typically show up at this stage; it’s also likely that you’ll begin much more frequent vision screenings at the recommendation of your doctor in order to keep tabs on the condition’s progression and maximize your chances at retaining healthy vision.

Proliferative retinopathy follows next, taking its name from the runaway blood vessels and scar tissue that emerge (proliferate) during this period. This stage can result in retinal detachment, where the forces exerted by these intrusions into the eye can actually pull the retina off the back of the eye. Any vision lost at this point, up to and including total blindness, will become permanent.

Patients at any stage can also experience leaking or obstruction in the center of the retina, known as the macula. This is known as diabetic macular edema.  Identifying the progression of stages in diabetic retinopathy is crucial to forming an effective treatment plan. In general, treatment is only available once the condition has progressed to proliferative retinopathy or diabetic maculopathy.

Regardless of what stage of diabetic retinopathy you or your loved one are at, the most important thing you can do is control your diabetes as much as possible. Pay attention to blood sugar, exercise, diet, and overall health. You’ve got a lot of vision to lose if you don’t!

One Love,

Dr. Jenna Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Jenna Zigler

Top 5 Questions Asked To Optometrists

Top 5 Questions Asked To Optometrists 0

Top 5 questions asked to optometrist

Eye doctors and specialists are asked many questions, but some are asked more than others. Whenever you see any doctor, it is always a good idea to write down questions before the appointment and take them with you. Doctors can direct your health care, but ultimately you are the one responsible for it. Taking your questions also allows you to either get permission to record the discussion or to take notes for later reference. Since an appointment can be stressful for many, this allows you to cover all the bases without having to remember the questions or the answers. So what are the common questions asked of us regularly?

How often should I have eye exams?

Eye exams are recommended every year if you wear glasses or contacts or are over age 61. If you are not having vision problems and are 18 to 60, then you can go every two years. If you find that you are having eye issues, it is always wise to make an appointment with your optometrist. Between the ages of 40 and 60, even if there are no eye problems you know about, you should start having regular eye exams every year. Your eye health is important; don’t take chances with your vision.

What should I bring with me to my eye exam?

Your eye specialist will need to have a list of any prescription medicines and dosages you are taking, as well as any vitamins and supplements. If you have it, a copy of your latest eye prescription, and your current glasses or contacts. This helps your doctor have an approximate reference as to where your vision is if you have never seen them before.

Also take your questions you’ve prepared in advance, and it might also be helpful to have a friend or family member with you if you plan on getting new glasses, or if your eyes are going to be dilated — they can drive you home after the exam.

What is the difference between nearsightedness and farsightedness?

When things are blurry in the distance, that is called nearsightedness or myopia. When you have a hard time seeing things close up, then it is farsightedness. Farsightedness is common as we age and many people will become more farsighted with age. Also, you may find it harder to focus on fine print when reading. As you hit your 40s, people begin to have problems with presbyopia — having trouble with distances and with focusing on fine details such as reading.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens which affects vision. Most cataracts are associated with age. Cataracts can occur in either one eye or both eyes. As the condition progresses, vision becomes cloudy. One of the main treatments is outpatient surgery where the surgeon removes the cataract(s). The surgery doesn’t usually take long, but will take a minimum of a few days to heal in most cases.

When does my contact lens prescription expire?

Contact lens prescriptions will state when they expire, but the general rule is usually within a year. It can vary from state to state and some expire sooner, while some may be good for up to two years. If your prescription has expired, you will not be able to purchase more contacts or a new pair of lenses until the prescription is updated. Make sure to get in for regular eye exams!

One Love,

Dr. Jenna Zigler



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