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Healthy Eyes

LPNI Health Topic – November 2015
Healthy Eyes
Our sight is important to God.  Scripture tells of our Lord opening the eyes of the blind, often connecting people’s physical sight with spiritual understanding.
The eye, this miraculous, complex organ, structured with intricate detail, works in conjunction with brain, muscles, and other systems for eye movement, reflex and vision.  The iris, pupil, lens, optic nerve, retina, vitreous body and many other parts of the eye necessary for vision, are protected and enhanced by the production of tears and the structure of eyelids for the act of blinking.  
From infancy through adulthood, eyes need to be protected and nourished to remain healthy and functional.  In small children, avoiding injuries through close supervision with pencils, forks, scissors and any other potentially harmful object is essential.   Looking into the sun or laser pointers can cause rapid and permanent damage to a child’s retina.  By teaching children proper eye care and handwashing, damage, irritations and some diseases can be prevented and spreading of infections avoided.  Through close observation by parents, teachers, nurses and others, children with vision problems or eye irregularities can be recognized and helped early, avoiding complications.
In adulthood, certain eye conditions and diseases become more common.  Age-related vision changes, diabetic neuropathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinitis are some examples.  When caught early, many can be controlled and complications avoided.  Regular eye exams, protection from sun, keeping our bodies in optimum health overall and eating for eye health, are some actions we can observe ourselves and teach to others to aid in maintaining healthy eyes.  
Following are some of the foods that help promote good eye health.  Among the vegetables are kale, collard greens, peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, peas, pumpkin, and Swiss chard.  Fruits include peaches, blueberries, citrus fruits, mango, tomato, apricot, papaya, cantaloupe, honeydew and avocado.  Foods high in zinc are beneficial, including king crab, lamb, bulgur, lean beef and pork, poultry dark meat, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds and beans. Omega 3-rich foods such as salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel, sardines, rainbow trout, flaxseed, English walnuts, canola oil, and roasted soybeans are also excellent.  May we strive for the best possible health of sight for both body and soul!
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  (Psalm139:14)
Dottie Simon, RN
Texas District Health Ministry/Parish Nursing
Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, Houston Texas, USA
Dotsimon03@yahoo.com
 
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