Having healthy eyes is everyone’s dream, because eyes is one of the most important and valuable sense owned by each person. There is a saying “Eyes are the window of the soul.” With our eyes we see things, we meet new people, we explore new world and new experience. Therefore, it is very essential to maintain our eye health. However, we often forget to take care of our eyes. We often put too much stress to our eyes, making them vulnerable to eye diseases. Stressful condition to our eyes may include lacking of sleep, too much screen-staring (TV or computer) without resting, smoking, pollution, solar radiation etc. These conditions will trigger various eye diseases that compromise our eye health.
A study conducted by The Eye Disease Prevalence Research Group (2004 ) estimates that by 2020, the number of patients with eye disease and blindness will reach into 55 million people worldwide. The study also mentions that prevalence of eye disorder and blindness will increase, especially for those who have aged over 65 years. In scope of ASEAN, Indonesia become country with the highest number of blindness, while in scope of worldwide, Indonesia is ranked second after Ethiopia. This number may represent facts that not many people aware with their eye health. Eye disorders or eye diseases may be variable, depend on its location, origin, severity, and also factors of patient such as age, gender, occupation, etc. Most common symptoms of eye diseases are decrease in visual acuity, blurred vision, tense eyeball or even headache, watery eyes and many other symptoms. These symptoms occur mostly as result of ongoing diseases. The diseases may be age-related macular degeneration, refractive disorder, cataract, glaucoma, diabetic or hypertensive retinopathy etc. These diseases may be detrimental for our eyes health if they are not handled properly. In worse condition, these will result in blindness, a situation with poor visual perception. Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD – AMD) is one of leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. AMD is a disease that involves visual loss in centre of visual field (macula) due to degeneration of retinal macula. Its common symptom is distortion of central vision. Macular degeneration often result in difficulty or even impossibility to read or to recognize faces. Refractive disorder is a disorder associated with accommodation of lens. Refractive disorder may be nearsighted or farsighted or even both. Refractive disorders occur mostly because incorrect reading habit, for example reading in too close distance, or because decrease in cilliary muscle elasticity, making the lens unable to accommodate properly. Cataract is clouding of lens as result of lens opacification and visual loss as cloudy lens obstruct light rays from passing and being focused in retina. Cataract may be age-dependent disease for it normally occurs in elderly due to aging process. Cataract may also occur in patient with diabetes, for it is hypothesized that increased blood glucose forms free radicals in eyes and accelerate opacification process of lens. Retinopathy is disorder located in retina. As retina is the place where light rays be focused to, disorder in retina may directly alter visual acuity. In diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels of retina are damaged due to poor control of glucose control. Similar to diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy is a result of poor control of blood pressure, resulting in poor blood circulation of retina and damage to retina.
NUTRIENTS FOR EYE DISEASE PREVENTION
Eye disease usually do not show warning signals at early stage whereas treatment in early stage is essential to prevent deterioration. Eye disorder and disease prevention can be done by providing nutrients, avoiding stressful condition to our eyes, resting our eyes regularly and properly. Nutrients are essential for eye health. These nutrients may be derived from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables. Red-yellow-colored fruits mostly contain carotenoids, organic pigments that act as antioxidant. Carotenoids are split into two main classes, carotenes and xantophylls. Beta carotene, a well-known form of carotenoid is a substance that acts as antioxidant and prevent cell damage. In humans body, beta carotene is transformed into vitamin A (in retinal or retinol form). Retinal or retinol is then used to preserve rod cells metabolism, cells that are responsible for night vision. The other class, xantophylls, are carotenoid that contain hydroxyl groups. Examples of this group are lutein, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, astaxanthin, etc. Lutein and zeaxanthin are xantophylls that protect eye cells from damage by absorbing the ionizing blue light. In vitro study indicates that lutein and zeaxanthin protect eye tissues against oxidative stress by absorbing blue rays and reducing its intensity until 40-90 %. Other nutrients that are necessary for eye health are flavonoids. Anthocyanins, or anthocyanosides are famous flavonoids found in berries (billberries – Vaccinium myrtillus) that protect retina from photoinhibition, or high-lighted stress. Anthocyanins are also able to scavenge free radicals, making complete protection for eye health. Report from a study with a double-blind design,which used placebo controls compared with combination of 180 mg of bilberry extract and vitamin E 100 mg twice daily for 4 months given to 50 patients with senile cataract resulting in progressivity decrease until 96 %. A double-blind clinical test are also conducted to 33 patients of senile cataract. Subjects were divided into 3 groups, given placebo, treatment of 100 mg and 300 mg of bilberry extract bilberry extract. The result shows that group consuming 100 mg and 300 mg of bilberry extract have a reduced levels of malondialdehyde, an indicator of oxidative stress in lens. With the reduced level of malondialdehyde, oxidative stress can be prevented and progressivity of cataract may be delayed. This result also shows that combination of billberry and beta carotene may improve night vision by improving level of rhodopsin, a pigment in retina which helps adaptation in night vision.
GOOD LIFE EYE BRIGHT
Seeing the need of nutrients for preserving eye health, our company, PT. Simex Pharmaceutical Indonesia provides excellent eye supplement named Eye Bright. Each caplet of Eye Bright contains billberry extract, retinol, beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and other component that give best protection for eye health. Eye Bright might be used in Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) to prevent degeneration of macula, refractive disorder such as far-sighted or near-sighted, cataract, or even retinopathy. Eye Bright is safe to use, with dosage of 2-3 tablets daily. With the complete combination of great nutrients, Eye Bright is definitely a smart choice to maintain eye health.
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