Monthly Archives: September 2017

Age Related Vision Changes

AgeRelatedVision-Jacquie Eubanks RN BSN

As we age, we experience changes in the structures of the eye. Some changes, like the waning of functional abilities, are considered within the normal limits, while other symptoms may signal the onset of disease processes. Those who have reached 40 years of age typically begin to notice changes to their visual acuity, or sharpness of vision. This common age-related condition, known as presbyopia, makes it difficult to focus and discern fine detail at close distances. Correctable with glasses or contact lenses, presbyopia will continue to progress slowly over time until around age 60.

When we are young, the lens of the eye is soft and flexible. Tiny muscles inside the eye can easily reshape the lens to focus on both near and distant objects. With aging, the lens begins to harden and muscle fibers are affected, resulting in difficulty in reading small print or seeing nearby objects clearly. While there is no current cure or known prevention strategies for presbyopia, with corrective lenses most individuals should be able to enjoy clear and comfortable vision.

The vitreous humor, a clear gel-like substance that fills the space between the lens and the retina, gives the eyes their shape and form. Millions of fine fibers in the vitreous humor are attached to the surface of the retina. As the vitreous shrinks and becomes more liquid with aging, fibers may pull away from the surface of the retina. This can cause tiny specks of tissue or debris to remain in the vitreous gel. Known as floaters, these tiny particles appear as dots, cobwebs or strings. What one is actually seeing is the shadow of the debris, as light is cast on the retina. In most cases, occasional spots or floaters are normal. They can be annoying, but many individuals become accustomed to them, and they generally don’t negatively affect vision.

Not everyone will experience the same vision changes. Common symptoms can include:

  • The need for brighter light, while reading or performing close-up tasks.
  • Decreased contrast sensitivity, or the ability to detect low contrast images, especially with low light, fog or glare situations. This can result in difficulty driving at night, or eyes may tire more easily while working on the computer or watching TV.
  • As it becomes harder for the eyes to focus, most experience difficulty reading without corrective lenses.
  • Changes in color perception. Some find it hard to distinguish between shades, such as blue and green.
  • Dry, irritated eyes resulting from reduced tear production. Particularly troublesome for menopausal women, adequate tears are necessary to keep eyes healthy and vision clear.

Individuals should be aware of early warning signs of other possible eye and vision problems:

  • Sudden development of floaters, flashes of light, or an appearance of a curtain over the field of vision could indicate a retinal tear or detachment, and should be treated as soon as possible to avoid vision loss.
  • Low contrast sensitivity can result in decreased depth perception, potentially resulting in missteps and falls. Reduced contrast sensitivity can also be a symptom of certain eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.
  • Chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can damage tiny blood vessels of the retina or cause permanent vision loss. As fluctuating vision can be a sign of undiagnosed health conditions, a visit to an eyecare specialist is in order.
  • Loss of peripheral, or side vision can be a sign of glaucoma. Symptomless until vision damage is done, glaucoma damages the optic nerve, preventing the transmission of visual images to the brain.
  • Distorted images or a blind spot in the middle of one’s vision field can be signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss among those aged 50 and older. AMD damages the macula, located in the center of the retina, that is necessary for sharp central vision. Central vision loss can affect the ability to read, drive, watch TV or recognize faces. Strong risk factors for AMD include aging, smoking, genetic factors, family history, sunlight exposure, and hypertension.

The impact of vision changes can have a significant effect on quality of life. It’s important to recognize the difference between reduced visual function in healthy individuals and specific eye related diseases. Yearly eye exams can mean early diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases, and preservation of vision health. Research has linked specific nutrients, that include lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and vitamins C and E, to reducing the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Nutrient supplementation may be helpful to support the heath of the eyes and vitreous:

  • In nature, lutein and zeaxanthin appear to absorb excess light energy to protect plants from too much sunlight, especially high energy rays called blue light. A number of studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants found in high concentration in the macula, may protect against light induced oxidative damage that could lead to AMD.
  • Highly concentrated in the eye, zinc plays a vital role in bringing vitamin A to the retina to produce melanin, a protective eye pigment. Impaired vision, such as poor night vision and cataracts have been linked to zinc deficiency.
  • Antioxidants fight oxidative damage and support general eye health. Natural antioxidants that include vitamins C and E and betacarotene have been shown to be of benefit in the prevention of AMD.
  • Hyaluronic acid (HA) is associated with balanced eye moisture. Oxidative stress can cause HA levels to decrease as we age.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy vision, and may also improve circulation, strengthen the integrity of the blood vessels, and naturally support healthy inflammatory processes.
  • Several types of collagen are found in the eye. As collagen tends to degrade with aging, nutritional support for collagen heath may be helpful.
  • Vitamin D3 supports vision health, as well as cardiovascular, immune, skeletal and cognitive health.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other fine quality products to support eye and overall health:

Eye Moisture Support...Eye Moisture Support by Douglas Laboratories®: This unique formula provides critical support for eye and retinal health, healthy tear production, and ocular moisture retention. Ingredients include QUELL Fish Oil®, vitamins and antioxidants. Gluten, wheat, soy, yeast and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

20/20 Eye Formula20/20 Eye Formula by Nutritional Frontiers: Specifically formulated for individuals with poor night vision, cataracts, AMD, or allergies that affect the eyes, this product provides antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin, ALA, and astaxanthin, as well as zinc and vitamins A, C, and E for support and protection of eye health and function.

 

Vision ProtectVision Protect™ by LuxVite Naturals: Ophthalmologist formulated with selected vitamins and antioxidants, this product is designed to promote eye health and provide macular support. Laboratory tested for quality and purity.

 

Clinical Nutrients...Clinical Nutrients™ Eye Formula by Integrative Therapeutics®: This product is designed to provide valuable nutrients that support proper eye health and function. Ingredients include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Gluten, wheat, yeast, dairy, and artificial ingredient free formulation.

 

MacuGuard Ocular...MacuGuard® Ocular Support by Life Extension: This innovative formula provides comprehensive ocular nutrition to help protect macular health from oxidative stress and light-induced damage. Non-GMO formulation.

 

Macular Support...Macular Support Formula by Pure Encapsulations®: This comprehensive hypoallergenic formulation provides a blend of powerful antioxidants and botanicals designed to support, maintain, and improve macular health. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

References:
Presbyopia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0023046/
Facts About Presbyopia. https://nei.nih.gov/health/errors/presbyopia
Adult Vision: 41 to 60 Years of Age. https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/adult-vision-19-to-40-years-of-age/adult-vision-41-to-60-years-of-age
Aging changes in the eye. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2585730/
About Age-Related Macular Degeneration. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024815/
Visual Acuity. https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/visual_acuity.htm

 

Fairy Tales Hair Care

FairyTalesHairCareSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Since 1999, Fairy Tales Hair Care has provided affordable, high-quality professional hair care products for children and families. Fairy Tales Hair Care offers Rosemary Repel®, a line of original formulations clinically proven to eliminate head lice and nits, and prevent future outbreaks, without the use of harmful additives. Gentle, effective, and safe for everyday use, these proprietary allergen-free formulas contain essential oils of organic rosemary, peppermint, lavender, citronella, tea tree, and geranium that help keep bugs away, and leave hair cleansed, softened and detangled. All products are biodegradable, and are sulfate, paraben, phthalate, chemical and pesticide free.

To see other products from Fairy Tales Hair Care, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

Lice Good-Bye...Lice Good-Bye® Survival Kit: This all-natural, safe, and clinically proven lice treatment effectively eliminates head lice and stubborn nits without harsh chemicals or pesticides. Kit includes Lice Good-Bye® Mousse natural lice treatment, a metal nit-free removal comb, easy grip sectioning clip and Rosemary Repel® conditioning spray, clinically proven to be 94% effective at preventing future infestation. Safe for repeated use. Contains gluten. Soy and nut free formulation.

Rosemary Repel...Rosemary Repel® Conditioning Spray: Rosemary Repel® is clinically proven to help prevent head lice with a proprietary blend of organic herbs and natural essential oils. Jojoba and chamomile hydrate, moisturize, and soothe the scalp. Safe, effective, and gentle enough for daily use, this formula is free of sulfates, harsh chemicals, parabens, phthalates, and toxins. Gluten, soy, dairy and nut free formulation.

Super Charge...Super Charge Detangling Shampoo: Super charged with natural jojoba and aloe vera extracts, this sulfate-free nourishing shampoo softens, calms, and detangles unruly locks. Natural keratin extracts help to strengthen and fortify hair, while a proprietary vitamin blend improves manageability and helps prevent breakage. Gluten, soy, dairy and nut free formulation.

Super Charge...Super Charge Detangling Conditioner: This nourishing conditioner eliminates tangles, instantly calms frizz, and moisturizes all hair types. Vitamins and natural keratin protein strengthen and smooth hair, improve manageability, help prevent breakage, and leave hair shiny, soft, and tangle-free. Gluten, soy, dairy and nut free formulation.

Static Free...Static Free Detangling Spray: A favorite of Moms and Dads everywhere, this weightless conditioning spray eliminates morning bedhead, static, frizz, and unruly knots with natural jojoba and aloe vera extracts. Natural keratin protein extract softens, conditions, and leaves hair shiny and tangle free. May be used on wet or dry hair. Gluten, soy, dairy and nut free formulation.

 

Fibromyalgia

FibromyalgiaJacquie Eubanks RN BSNInvisible to the eye, Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by symptoms of widespread muscle, tendon, ligament and body pain often accompanied by tenderness in specific areas of the body known as tender points. In many cases fibromyalgia may be initially misdiagnosed, as individuals generally experience a range of symptoms that can include joint stiffness, sleep disturbances, headaches, cognitive and memory issues, depression, irritable bowel, whole body fatigue and more. Lab tests are often used to rule out other possible co-existing conditions. Fibromyalgia can affect anyone. Yet, for unknown reasons most of those diagnosed with the disorder are adult women.

Although fibromyalgia may be attributed to a number of factors, exact causes remain a mystery. The disorder is frequently attributed to traumatic events that can be physical, emotional or medical, such as a motor vehicle accident, a traumatic life event, or an illness or infection. Hormonal disturbances linked to chronic stress, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may also be contributing factors. Genetic mutations are believed to play a role, as those with a family history of the syndrome are at greater risk for developing the condition.

Fibromyalgia is a life-altering centralized persistent pain state that varies in intensity from day to day. A multi-disciplinary team approach for the management and relief of symptoms is often recommended, as currently, underlying causes are not identified and addressed. As the body is designed to heal and health is the natural state, affected individuals must play an active role. Self-management strategies may help to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of periodic flare-ups. Although fibromyalgia results in painful and uncomfortable symptoms, the condition is not life-threatening and doesn’t result in organ or muscle damage.

Like the management of other chronic conditions, healthy daily lifestyle habits can help with symptom relief, minimize the impact on one’s life, and lower the risk for other health problems. Conventional approaches include medication, exercise and physical therapy. A more balanced approach includes complementary and alternative therapies. Supplements, along with lifestyle changes and other treatments, have been shown to help lessen pain, increase energy and promote healthier sleep.

Pain relief: Take medications as prescribed. Over the counter pain relievers should only be used as needed for as short a time as possible. A long soak in the tub with added Epsom salts can help to reduce deep muscle pain and promote better sleep.

Stress reduction: Focus on recognizing and reducing signs of stress, such as shoulder tension and headaches. Restorative yoga and meditation may help to lower stress and reduce pain.

Physical activity: Due to pain and fatigue, many find it difficult to be physically active. Yet, research has shown that daily activity is one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia. Develop a low-impact exercise routine to help reduce pain, increase energy, reduce stress and aid more restful sleep. Walking and water aerobics for a short period a few days a week are good starting points. As pain decreases and energy increases, one may gradually increase frequency and intensity.

Sleep management: Pain makes it difficult to get restful sleep, and lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms. Getting sufficient sleep can help to ease pain and fatigue. Establish a healthy bedtime routine and avoid afternoon naps, as well coffee, alcohol and stimulating exercise within three hours of bedtime.

Nutrition: A balanced healthy diet and proper nutrition supports energy production and good health, and reduces the risk of developing other chronic conditions. Although no specific diet for fibromyalgia has been identified certain dietary strategies, such as eating more plant foods, reducing animal foods, staying hydrated, and reducing sugar intake, support overall wellness. Fermented foods and foods rich in omega-3 fats and antioxidants can keep the digestive system on tract, and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Alternative therapies: Massage therapy, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation may be helpful to relieve pain, reduce stress, improve function and promote natural healing.

Dietary supplements commonly used to treat fibromyalgia symptoms include:

D-ribose: D-ribose is a naturally occurring unique sugar used by all bodily cells to build energy. Well-tolerated in supplemental form, D-ribose has been shown to increase cellular energy synthesis in heart and skeletal tissue. A pilot study found that D-ribose significantly improved energy, sleep, mental clarity, pain intensity, and wellbeing in those with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

SAMe: Naturally produced by the body, SAMe boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine, which may help improve mood, and relieve pain, morning stiffness, and fatigue. Harvard Medical School researchers have found that SAMe is safe and effective for treating symptoms of mild depression.

5-HTP: This natural amino acid is used by the body to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and behavior. Many individuals with fibromyalgia have low levels of serotonin. 5-HTP may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, appetite, and pain sensation.

Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency is linked to fibromyalgia symptoms. Maintaining therapeutic blood levels of magnesium is associated with a lessening of symptoms of depression, tender point soreness, and fatigue.

Vitamin D: A review of published studies found that vitamin D levels may play a key role in the relationship between pain and sleep. Researchers theorize that vitamin D supplementation combined with good sleep hygiene could increase the effectiveness of pain management treatments in fibromyalgia and other pain related conditions.

Adaptogenic herbs: Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha and rhodiola help to improve metabolic and cognitive function, and defend against the negative consequences of stress by inhibiting the release of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality formulations to address symptoms of fibromyalgia:

Corvalen Ribose...Corvalen® Ribose Chewable Tablets by Douglas Laboratories®: These all-natural D-ribose chewable tablets are clinically proven to help restore energy, support cardiac function, and reduce muscle stiffness, soreness, and fatigue. D-ribose helps to reduce energy loss in times of stress, and accelerates muscle and tissue recovery after exercise. Gluten, soy, wheat, dairy and artificial ingredient free, vegan formulation.

5-HTP 100 mg (5...5-HTP 100 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: Clinically studied 5-HTP supports and encourages brain serotonin levels that can lead to positive effects on emotional wellbeing, appetite control, and wake/sleep cycles. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Malic Acid +...Malic Acid + Magnesium Tablets by Douglas Laboratories®: This formula blends malic acid, a naturally occurring organic acid, with magnesium, vitamin C and bioflavonoids. These synergistic ingredients may have a beneficial effect on fibromyalgia symptoms, as well as the healthy structure and function of the immune and skeletal systems. Gluten, soy, dairy and artificial ingredient free.

Bio-D-Mulsion ForteBio-D-Mulsion Forte® by Biotics® Research: Designed to be helpful for those with absorption issues, this formula provides vitamin D3 in a highly bioavailable, micro-emulsified form for enhanced absorption and utilization. Gluten free.

 

Bio-Adaptogen UltraBio-Adaptogen™ Ultra by Nutra BioGenesis®: This professional ayurvedic blend of adaptogenic herbs provides nutritive support during times of stress, and supports healthy adrenal function, optimal energy levels, and overall wellbeing.

 

Magnesium (glycinate...Magnesium Glycinate by Pure Encapsulations®: Important for numerous bodily functions, this product supplies highly bioavailable magnesium chelate along with vitamin C. Less likely to cause bowel discomfort than other forms of magnesium, magnesium in glycinate form provides support for neuromuscular and cardiac function, mood balance, and the proper metabolism and utilization of essential nutrients. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

References:
Questions and Answers about Fibromyalgia. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/fibromyalgia/
What is Fibromyalgia? https://www.fmcpaware.org/aboutfibromyalgia.html
Fibromyalgia. https://familydoctor.org/condition/fibromyalgia/?adfree=true
Everything You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia. http://www.healthline.com/health/fibromyalgia#is-fibromyalgia-real1
Fibromyalgia: Symptoms, causes, and treatment. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/147083.php
7 Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/fibromyalgia-natural-remedies#1
Magnesium and its Role in Fibromyalgia Treatment. http://www.fmaware.org/about-fibromyalgia/magnesium-fibromyalgia-treatment/
The use of D-ribose in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: a pilot study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17109576
Vitamin D Supplements, Quality Sleep Could Help Relieve Symptoms of Fibromyalgia, Other Chronic Pain Conditions. https://fibromyalgianewstoday.com/2017/06/07/fibromyalgia-chronic-pain-may-be-relieved-by-vitamin-d-supplements-qual/