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Eye Disorders

Eye Disorders

Description

The following common eye disorders are discussed in this section: myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, diplopia, astigmatism, night blindness and color blindness. Except for night blindness and color blindness, the above disorders cannot be readily treated by diet. Eye disorders are generally caused by either genetic predisposition or as part of the normal aging process.

Myopia (nearsightedness)
Myopia is a condition in which images of distant objects are not focused on the retina, but slightly in front of it. Near objects are seen clearly while distant objects are blurred. About one in five people is affected by this condition. Refractive errors are corrected by concave lenses.

Hyperopia (hypermetropia, farsightedness)
Hyperopia is a condition in which images of all objects are blurred, especially when the object is near. The focal point for the cornea/lens system is, in this case, behind the retina. Farsighted individuals may be able to bring near objects into focus by using ciliary muscles; however, this often results in eye strain. Hyperopia is commonly present at birth and can be overcome through a process called accommodation wherein there is thickening and increased control of eye muscles. Vision is not permanently damaged and can be corrected by convex lenses. Most often, as the aging process progresses, stronger lens prescriptions are needed.

Diplopia
Diplopia is double vision. Two images of one object are perceived by the brain. Generally, this condition can be corrected by surgery.

Astigmatism
Astigmatism is distorted vision due to uneven curvature of the cornea. It is usually present at birth and does not worsen. Prescriptive lenses called cylindrical lenses can correct the unevenness.

Night blindness
Night blindness is the inability to see in dim light, while vision is normal in bright light or daylight. It is the primary symptom of a vitamin A deficiency. Treatments include improved diet with vitamin A or vitamin A precursors, or taking therapeutic doses of this vitamin. Reversing the condition has had excellent success when treated early; if left untreated, the condition may progress to drying of the conjunctivas. Total blindness may also result.

Color blindness
Color blindness is usually the inability to differentiate between certain colors or, less frequently, the inability to see color whatsoever. In the latter condition, all vision is gray; in the former condition, the ability to differentiate colors may depend on light intensity. Because color blindness is a sex-linked recessive genetic condition, it is rare in females but effects about 8% of the male population. Prescribed filters worn on glasses allows for increased contrast and color differentiation.

See also:
Glaucoma
Cataract

Causes

Myopia (nearsightedness)
Eyeball is too long from front to back
Excessive focusing power of the cornea and lens
Pathologic (very rarely seen)
Heredity (usually manifested by around age 12 and progressively worsens until near age 20)

Hyperopia (hypermetropia, farsightedness)
Eyeball is too short from front to back
Weakness in the focusing power of the cornea and lens
Heredity

Presbyopia
Progressive hardening and decreased plasticity of the lens

Diplopia
Poor eye muscle coordination
Weakness in the muscles which control eyeball movement

Astigmatism
Uneven curvature of the cornea
Heredity

Night blindness
Vitamin A deficiency, which may result from:
Sprue
Liver diseases where abnormal vitamin A storage occurs
Renal diseases where enhanced destruction or excretion of vitamin A occurs

Color blindness
Sex-linked genetic defect in the X chromosome
Production of faulty protein molecules in the cone cells of the retina
Eye disease

Signs & Symptoms

Astigmatism

Horizontal, vertical, or lines at an acute angle are blurred, while other dimensions are seen relatively normal


Color blindness

Confusion between the colors red and green, especially in dim light
Confusion between the colors blue and violet, especially in dim light
Total inability to see colors no matter the light intensity


Diplopia

Wall eye
Crossed eyes
Sudden onset may indicate damage to the optic nerve due to:
Head injury
Brain tumor
Chronic alcoholism

Hyperopia (hypermetropia, farsightedness)

Nothing is seen in focus, especially close objects
Reading with the page far from the eyes
Aching eyes
Tired eyes
Sore eyes

Myopia (nearsightedness)

Close objects are seen in focus while distant objects are blurred
Reading written material close to the eyes


Night blindness

Inability to see in dim light
Glaucoma (for persons over age 40)
Retinitis pigmentosa (for children or adolescents)
Dry, scaly skin
Follicular hyperkeratosis below the follicle
Shrinking and hardening of mucous membranes possibly leading to eye infections, respiratory infections or genitourinary tract infections


Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function: Vision Support

---------------------------------
General Supplements
---------------------------------

Adult
Beta carotene*
Bioflavonoids 500 - 1000 mg
Chromium 200 - 600 mcg
Ginkgo biloba*
Hesperidin 200 - 500 mg
Proanthocyanidins*
Rutin 200 - 500 mg
Spirulina*
Vitamin A*
Vitamin B-2 10 - 50 mg
Vitamin C1,000 - 3,000 mg
Vitamin E 200 - 400 IU



* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Discussion:-

As the name implies: retinoic acid / retinol, or vitamin A and more specifically, its precursor Beta carotene, is often recommended for eye health and to assist in overcoming disorders.

Ginkgo biloba may improve circulation in the eye as well as the related nerve centers in the brain.


Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

Carbohydrate Intolerance Diet

Dietary Goals Diet

Macular degeneration

Flavonoid-rich berries are top of the list e.g. blackberries, blueberries (bilberry is in this family) and cherries. Other fruits and vegetables are also useful as sources of vitamin C.

Increasing the availability of antioxidants won't have the desired effect if free radicals are not dealt with, which means avoiding e.g. saturated fats especially foods fried in animal or processed fats.

Homeopathic Remedy

Asthenopia (tired eyes)

1.*Ruta graveolens tinct.- 6X to 15C
2. Euphrasia officinalis- 30C
3. Lilium tigrinum- 30C



Accompanied by achiness - Nat. mur.

Astigmatism

1.* Lilium tigrinum- 30C - slow acting restores power to cilliary muscles.
2.* Euphrasia officinalis (eyebright)- 30C
3.* Ruta graveolens tinct. - 6X to 15C weak muscles, burning sensation.



Brights Disease (glomerulonephritis)

1. Terebinthina- 6X to 30C try 6C first
2.**Arsenicum Album - 30C
3.**Apis Mellifica - 6X to 100X, 6X - over a few days
4.**Serum anguillae ichthyotoxin - 30C



Color Blindness

1.* Benzinum dinitricum- 6C
2.* Carboneum sulphuratum- 6X
3. Guarea trichiloides- tincture or 6X



Conjunctivitis / General

1. Euphrasia officinalis- 30 - 30C ( or Mother tincture 2 or 3 drops in an eyebath)
2. Cineria maritima- 25 drops tincture to 4 oz water - per as and in eye
3. Vaccinium myrtillus tinct. (bilberry)- 30C



Specific:

Argentum nitricum tinct. or Pulsatilla nigricans - with yellow pus.

Corneal Opacities

1.* Cineria maritima        - 30C use as drops and as homeopathic - per os and in eye.

Diplopia

1.* Oleander- 15C
2. Gelsemium sempervirens- 15C
3. Hyoscyamus niger- 30C



Far Sighted (see hyperopia, hypermetropia)

1.* Euphrasia officinalis- 30C long term
2. Argentum nitricum tinct.- 30C or 6X, long term
3. Vaccinium myrtillus tinct.- 6X longterm



Glaucoma

1.* Euphrasia officinalis- 15C long term use 6X
2. Spigelia- 15C, 6X long term
3. Prunus spinosa- 6C



Ptosis eyelid

Gelsemium sempervirens- 30X



Ptosis eye - treat for months

1. Sepia- 30C
2. Euphrasia officinalis- 30C



Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.

Legend

X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.


References

Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.

Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.

Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.

Tissue Salts

Calc. Fluor.strain, relieved by rest: spots before the eyes, blurry vision;
Calc. Phos.anemic patients;
Ferr. Phos.burning, inflammation;
Kali Mur.white discharge, feeling of "sand in the eyes";
Kali Phos.weak eyesight, drooping of eyelids following illness;
Kali Sulf.yellow discharge, encrusted "glued" lids;
Mag. Phos.drooped eyelids, photosensitivity;
Nat. Mur.watery discharge, teary eyed, causing soreness;
Nat. Phos.creamy discharge, eyelids are glued together in the morning;
Siliceayellow discharge, styes;



Herbal Approaches

----------
Herbs
-----------


Blueberry (Vaccinum myrtillus)
Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)
Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)
Ginkgo biloba

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Discussion:

While Eyebright may seem an obvious choice, Cayenne may seem odd as it is an eye irritant. However, both herbs are frequently included in recommendations for both topical and internal use. Of course, if irritation is more than minor, or lasts a long time, do not persevere with the treatment. It is also advisable to begin with a small amount.

Ginkgo may be another surprising choice. However, although it is best known for being beneficial to the brain, it also increases circulation to eye tissues and decreases oxidative damage within the eyeball.

Eye disorders are also treated under individual headings e.g. Cataract and Glaucoma.

References:

Hoffmann, D: The New Holistic Herbal. Element, 1983. Third edition 1990.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Eye infection:

Jasmine Essence

Eye inflammation:

Fennel Essence

Eyelids (Blepharitis):

Chamomile Essence,Lemon Essence.



Ophthalmia:

Chamomile Essence,Geranium Essence.




Related Health Conditions

Aging
Cataract
Glaucoma
Infection

Abstracts

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