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Support Your Vision with USANA VisionEX

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USANA VisionExArticle from USANA website Australia region published 14th, Mar, 2016.

In today’s society use our eyes to stare at computer screens, televisions, tablets and mobile phones more than ever before. This means that our eyes are focused at the same distance for much longer than in the past, which may result in eyestrain, headaches and even a sore back or stiff neck.

The increase in screen-time has not only been linked to eye fatigue but also to an increase in eye related issues. Alarmingly a new study has found that half the world’s population will be short-sighted in 30 years, with one of the main factors being our society’s reliance on technology.

The name for eye problems caused by computer use is computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS is not one specific eye problem. Instead, the term encompasses a whole range of eye strain and pain experienced by computer users.

Research shows somewhere between 50% and 90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least some symptoms of eye trouble. This doesn’t only apply to adults though; kids who stare at portable video games or tablets or who use computers throughout the day at school can also experience eye problems related to screen use.

Computer vision syndrome is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries at work and occurs when you’re carrying out the same motion over and over again. Working at a computer requires that the eyes continuously focus, move back and forth, and align with what you are seeing. You may have to look down at papers and then back up to type, and the eyes have to accommodate to changing images on the screen in order to create a clear picture for the brain to interpret. These all require a lot of effort from eye muscles.

Computer eye problems are more likely to occur if you already have an eye problem, such as nearsightedness or astigmatism, or if you need glasses but don’t wear them or wear the wrong prescription for computer use. Working at a computer also gets more difficult as you get older because the lens of your eye becomes less flexible. The ability to focus on near and far objects starts to diminish after about age 40, this is a condition called presbyopia.

If you have computer vision syndrome, you may experience some or all of these symptoms, and if they are not treated, they can have a real effect on your work performance:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Dry, red eyes
  • Eye irritation
  • Headaches
  • Neck or back pain

USANA Eye AnatomyOther factors that also contribute to eye issues are age, UV exposure and lifestyle choices.

Except for when we are asleep our eyes are constantly exposed to environmental factors such as air pollution, dryness and oxidative stress from sunlight. All of these, and other factors, can damage different parts of our eye structure (see diagram). Some examples of how sunlight can damage the eyes include:

Intraocular melanoma: Although rare, it is the most common eye cancer in adults. It starts in the uveal tract, the middle layer of the eye containing the iris (the part of the eye responsible for eye color) and the pupil, which lies in the center of the iris. Symptoms may include a dark spot on the iris, blurred vision, or a change in the pupil’s shape. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms.

Cataracts: A progressive clouding and yellowing of the crystalline lens, the eye’s focusing mechanism. At least 10 percent of cataract cases are directly attributable to UV exposure. Cataracts are the most common cause of treatable blindness worldwide, and UVB has been directly linked to cataracts.

Macular degeneration: Often referred to as age-related, or senile, macular degeneration, it is caused by damage to the retina over time. The retina is the ocular membrane where images are formed and transmitted to the brain; the macula, the region of sharpest vision near the center of the retina, is the most likely area to be damaged. Macular degeneration is one of the major causes of vision loss in the U.S. for people over age 60. While further research is required, some studies point to UVA and HEV light as potential causes of macular degeneration.

Keratitis, or corneal sunburn: Excessive exposure to UV from the sun or tanning machines can literally burn the cornea, the eye’s clear refracting surface that admits light and images to the retina. UV-protective lenses are therefore especially a must for anyone who uses a tanning machine, as well as for skiers or snowboarders, since UV is more intense at high altitudes, and since snow reflects back the sun’s rays, so that they hit your eyes a second time.

With so much at stake for our quality of life it’s super important for us to protect and take maximum care of our eyes. Regular eye breaks, checkups, exercise and a balanced diet are all important parts of your overall eye health and wellbeing. There are also many other tips which can help improve your eye health (stay tuned for next week’s blog) including adding more of the following ingredients such as lutein, vitamin C, bilberry and zinc to your diet.

Perhaps it’s time we all took a step back and thought about the last time you looked up from your computer screen, put down your phone or wore the correct sunglasses outside, and start doing something about it. Your eyes will thank you for it.

Tips to improve your eye health

usana eyeWith current social trends showing we are using our electronic devices more than ever before, with some people even admitting to having a screen in front of them for more than 9 hours a day, it’s no wonder that research shows eye related issues are on the rise.

Luckily, there are ways to improve your vision without sacrificing your electronic devices, these include:

1. Walking away: Make sure you take a 10 minute break away from your screen for every hour. It’s important to look away from your screen and blink to give your eyes a chance to lubricate and adjust.

2. Change your settings: Increase your font size on your computer, tablet or phone so your eyes don’t have to strain to read the text. You can also add filters to your screen to cut down the glare which can also be associated with eyestrain.

3. Visit a doctor: Everyone, including young children, should get their eyes examined regularly. This helps you to not only protect your sight but can also lead to the detection of some eye diseases, such as glaucoma, that have no symptoms. Depending on your eye health needs, you can see either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialise in eye care. They can provide general eye care, treat eye diseases, and perform eye surgery. Optometrists provide general eye care and treat the most common eye diseases. They examine eyes for both vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some optometrists also provide low vision care and vision therapy.

4. Eat for your eyes:  Research shows nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E might help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration. Foods which can help your eye health include green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards; salmon, tuna, and other oily fish; eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources; fruits such as oranges and other citrus fruits or berries such as blueberries and bilberries. Since majority of Australians do not consume the recommended servings of fruits and veggies, supplementation is important to meet the nutrition gap. Why not try a supplement like USANA’s Visionex™ which contains guaranteed levels of lutein and zeaxanthin as well as vitamin C, zinc and bilberry extract or USANA’s BiOmega™ which is an excellent way to consume healthy omega-3 fatty acids without the fishy aftertaste?

5. Put your shades on: Sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which is very important as too much UV exposure makes you more likely to get cataracts and macular degeneration. When buying sunglasses you should choose ones which block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound lenses also help protect your eyes from the side and polarized lenses reduce glare when driving.

6. Safety first: You should always wear safety/protective glasses when working with hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home. Certain sports can also lead to eye injury so it’s important to wear eye protection such as helmets with protective face masks or sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses to shield your eyes from any flying objects or even limbs.

By incorporating the above tips in your lifestyle you should be able to improve the health and condition of your eyes. Your eyes are probably the most important of your five senses so it’s important you look after and protect them.

Shop USANA VisionEX now here.

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160217113308.htm

http://www.zeiss.com.au/vision-care/en_au/better-vision/your-comprehensive-guide-to-better-vision/topic-eye-care-prevention.html

http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/for-your-eyes/how-sunlight-damages-the-eyeshttp://patient.info/health/visual-problems

http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/computer-vision-syndrome

NutritionX Health Network

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A vision of excellence – USANA Products and eye health

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usana australia vision of excellence

Published by USANA Australia head office in 1st Jun, 2014

Keeping body and brain healthy are right up there for most of us in our health priorities. But what about our eyes?

During the day, your eyes take in information rapidly from the world around you and then send information to your brain for processing. It’s your eyes’ job to ensure that your brain knows what’s going on outside of your body. Lots of factors affect your eye health. From your diet to smoking, your age, illnesses and even medication used to treat them, all can affect your eye health. Here are some ways you can look after your eyes – today and for the foreseeable future!

Protect them

Harmful environmental factors such as air pollution, smoking, dryness (which can be hormonal or due to medication), and oxidative damage from sunlight can damage your eyes.

Don’t smoke. One of the major ways you can protect your eyes is by not smoking. If you do smoke, stubbing out the habit is one of the biggest ways you can protect your eyes. That’s because
cigarette smoke contains a noxious mix of chemicals which robs the blood vessels of oxygen. The macular area of the retina has the finest blood supply in the body helping you to see tiny details
clearly. If the blood supply to the macula becomes obstructed (which happens early, even before other body functions are affected by poor circulation), the macula and your sight can be affected.
The macula is an area in the centre of the retina which is responsible for central vision and high visual acuity. Damage can increase the risk for age related macular degeneration (AMD), which can result in blurred vision and vision loss. Cigarette smoke also appears to interfere with the absorption of lutein (pronounced loo-teen), and this in turn can increase your risk of AMD. Plus, the
heavy metals in tobacco can accumulate in the lens with direct toxic effects that may contribute to cataract formation.

Shield your eyes from sunlight.

Good quality wraparound, close-fitting sunglasses are a great investment towards your eye health.
That’s because both short term and long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can cause damage. In the short-term, it can cause a type of sunburn to the cornea plus inflammation. Long-term, it can trigger skin cancer and damage to the retina and cornea. Complete your protection by wearing a widebrimmed hat and using sunscreen when you’re out and about. Get your eyes tested. Eye conditions can be detected and treated before they impact your health, so it’s important to
get your eyes checked regularly. See your optician at least every two years and more frequently if you need to.

A feast for the eyes

What you eat and drink helps to nourish every cell in your body – including the complex structures that are your eyes. Only around one quarter of adults currently consume the 500mg daily omega-3 DHA and EPA recommended by the National Heart Foundation of Australia. These essential
fats (from oily fish like salmon, trout, tuna and sardines) and DHA in particular play a vital role in helping to maintain cell membranes including cells in your eyes. The Heart Foundation recommends that two portions of fatty fish are eaten weekly for general and eye health. But consuming just one serving of fish every week has been shown to protect against AMD, the country’s leading cause of blindness by up to 40 per cent.

Feed your eyes

Certain nutrients play a big role in boosting your eye health. These include:

  • Plant pigments, carotenoids especially lutein and zeaxanthin (pronounced zay-a-zan-thin) found in green leafy vegetables, watercress, spinach, kale, peas, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, corn and beans. It works like a sunblock for your eyes. Pigments do this by forming a yellow area that helps to protect the macula – a tiny yellow spot in your retina – from excessive sun damage. Of all the antioxidant carotenoids found in human eyes, only lutein and zeaxanthin are present in high concentrations in a healthy macula. A quality eye-health supplement should contain both of these critical carotenoids. Antioxidant anthocyanins (found in blueberries and grapes) may help improve night vision.
  • Beta carotene (in orange/yellow fruits and veggies) also helps to protect cells inside the eye from free radical damage.
  • Sulphur (onions, garlic and capers), is needed for the production of the potent antioxidant glutathione, an important antioxidant needed for healthy vision.
  • Cysteine and lecithin (in eggs, especially egg yolks) may help to protect the lens from cataracts.
  • Zinc (nuts, legumes, seeds, seafood), helps produce the pigment melatonin which protects your eyes.
  • Vitamin B group (whole grains and brown rice) may help to prevent your risk of cataracts and retinopathy. One large study has linked higher intakes of vitamin B6, folic acid and
    vitamin B12 with lower incidence of homocysteine levels which appears to be important in warding off one type of glaucoma.
  • Vitamin C (citrus fruits, vegetables) needed for the production of white blood cells and protects against oxidative stress throughout the body, including inside the retina. Other research has found that in order for cells in the retina to function properly, they need to be bathed in
    relatively high doses of vitamin C and may be especially protective for the retina for those who are prone to glaucoma according to Dr von Gersdorff and co-workers from Oregon Health and Science University in the USA.
  • Vitamin E (nuts and whole grains) is a powerful antioxidant.
  • Selenium (nuts, particularly Brazil nuts) is another antioxidant mineral.
  • Berry extracts. According to the Age Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS), one of the modifications to the previously recommended list of eye-protective nutrients could be
    the addition of bilberry extract due to its protective effect against damage by UVA light. While UVB has been linked with corneal and lens issues, it isn’t thought to affect the retina as it is absorbed. But UVA light can reach the retina and can damage it by producing reactive oxygen species (ROS). Berry extract contains a wide range of constituents that can mop up these free radicals.

Focus on supplements

Taking a daily multivitamin supplement has been associated with reduced risk of cataract. It would be very hard to obtain the large quantity of vitamins used in the trial from your diet. Therefore some people who have AMD should consider supplementation with vitamins and anti-oxidants say the UK’s Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Dry eyes

One of the not-so-well documented side effects of menopause is dry eyes which can be uncomfortable. Hormonal imbalance interferes with the eye’s ability to make soothing tears, resulting in itching, burning, and inflammation. Your doctor can advise you about the best
treatment.A healthy diet is also important – it provides hydration. Plus, a high quality omega-3 supplement may also boost moisture. A recent study demonstrated that a mix of omega-3s and
polyunsaturated fats and nutrition could significantly improve irritation of the eyes whilst boosting smoothness of the cornea. And, although it involved women who were postmenopausal, the study researchers suggest that the good results could benefit people with dry eyes.

Potency and purity – guaranteed!

USANA’s advanced eye health supplement, USANA Visionex, has been evaluated and approved by ConsumerLab.com, LLC, a leading provider of independent product test results. In a 2012 study on eye health supplements, ConsumerLab. com determined that USANA Visionex contains at least
100 per cent of the claimed amounts of lutein and claimed amounts of zeaxanthin listed on the label. Lutein and zeaxanthin, two key ingredients in Visionex, have been shown to improve visual performance in glare for most healthy subjects, according to a study published in Optometry. People recover faster when light shines in their eyes particularly useful for athletes who play outdoors night time driving.

Nourish your eyes:

1. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
2. Eat dark green leafy vegetables and fresh fruit daily
3. Choose fish two to three times a week
4. Choose low glycemic index (low GI) carbohydrates instead of high GI
5. Eat a handful of nuts a week
6. Limit the intake of fats and oils
7. Keep a healthy lifestyle – maintain a healthy weight, and exercise regularly
8. Consider taking a suitable supplement

Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet. Use only as directed. Always read the label. Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) per National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) www.nal.usda.gov

Carbohydrates and glycemic index

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale of 1 to 100 according to how much they raise blood sugar after eating. According to the Macualar Degeneration Foundation: ‘There is now good evidence that those who eat a higher proportion of carbohydrates with a low GI
compared to high GI, have a lower risk of developing macular degeneration’. Carbohydrates with a high GI are digested quickly and produce a large and rapid rise in blood sugar. Low GI carbohydrates are digested more slowly, giving a more gradual but longer release of energy. Low GI foods have proven benefits for health. Low GI foods include most fruit and vegetables, whole grain cereals and whole grain breads and legumes. Glycemic index only applies to carbohydrates.

Can carrots help you see in the dark?

Carrots are a great source of beta carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body and is vital for general health. But as far as eye health is concerned, its green leafy vegetables
that are the best nutrition providers. They are concentrated in dark green veggies in particular – watercress, spinach and kale, for example, fresh produce provides valuable vitamin C and other delicate vitamins. But cooked, tinned and frozen are good options too as the plant pigments are actually made more available by heat.

Lutein supplementation

Lutein is a particularly important antioxidant for eye health. If you are over 50 or have a family history of macular degeneration, and are not eating enough dark green leafy vegetables, a lutein supplement may be appropriate. A daily lutein intake of 6 mg is generally considered adequate.
If you have been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), talk with your eye health professional.

usana australia products for eye

• USANA Visionex is a specially formulated source of eye nourishing antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin
• USANA Essentials™ and HealthPak™ provide a complete range of plant pigments, vitamins and minerals
• USANA BiOmega™ is a pure and ethically source form of fish oils with high concentrations of omega-3 EPA and DHA
• USANA Go Nuts ‘n’ Berries™ bars provide 500mg vegetarian omega-3s per bar.

You could order the above Products from USANA Australia approved website:  www.buyvitaminsonline.com.au

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