Recently one of our visitors emailed us for help finding an elderly diabetic man free glasses.
Medicare pays for his eye exams but apparently and unfortunately does not pay for the actual glasses.
He hadn’t upgraded his prescription in 10+ years because he is unable to afford the cost.
This is the unfortunate condition in which many without vision insurance find themselves.
If you find yourself in this position there is help available through The Lion’s Club.
While it is best to have vision insurance so that you can get an exact prescription many are unable to afford the associated costs with maintaining such an insurance plan.
Thanks to programs provided through such organizations those in need can benefit.
If you have any free resources please feel free to leave a comment and if your resource is good we’ll post it!
For those that need free glasses click here.
Dr Whitaker of the Whitaker Center / Whitaker Wellness Institute has a new & improved all natural formula specifically to help protect vision as well as improve night vision.
If you have read Dr Whitaker’s books or taken a look at his free diabetes report you know that he has been on the forefront of Diabetic research for many, many years and that he has a lot of great information to share.
With the introduction of this improved vision supplement we are confident that this product will stand along with his other wonderful supplements and herbal remedies in helping many Diabetics to improve and safeguard their vision.
Here’s a bit of what Dr Whitaker’s site has to say about Vision Essentials:
- Provides the 19 best vitamins for eyes and healthy vision.Delivers unparalleled antioxidant protection from carotenoids including astaxanthinand zeaxanthinâ€”important for overall vision, especially critical for seeing color and detail. Astaxanthin also enhances the eyesâ€™ ability to keep things in focus.
- Promotes sharper night vision with peak doses of black currant, which also promotes the antioxidant defense mechanisms in your retinal epithelial cells, and supports blood vessels, which is critical to your eye health and night vision.Black currant, a natural cousin to blueberries and cranberries, has been shown in clinical studies to produce measurable improvements in night vision. Black currant contains anthocyanosides and other flavonoids, which also help improve circulation to and within the eyes.
A balanced diet that includes supplementation with astaxanthin, black currant, lutein and zeaxanthin may improve night vision as well as put an end to dry, tired eyes and reduce the effects of glare.
Studies show that within 30 minutes, black currant can significantly improve your night vision.1 In another study, participants were given a drink containing 40 mg of black currant anthocyanosides. As in the first study, participants could see significantly better in the darkâ€”once again within just 30 minutes.2
- Includes the research dosage of lutein shown to promote the health of your retina, macula, lenses, and optic nerves, as well as support visual acuity.A recent study examined subjectsâ€™ tolerance to glare. The study showed that participants who took 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin daily for four months (which you get in Vision Essentials) had a significant improvement in their glare tolerance. After six months, their recovery time for seeing clearly again after being â€œblindedâ€ by bright light significantly decreased.3
Plus, thereâ€™s a new study, hot off the presses that reveals taking lutein, zeaxanthin, and black currant togetherâ€”in the doses included in Vision Essentialsâ€”may reduce visual fatigue.
Vision Essentials provides 15 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthinâ€”the optimal doses based on the latest research. This is important, especially when it comes to lutein. A new study published in Clinical Nutrition showed that the proper dose of lutein is critical for supporting optimal eye health. In fact, inadequate levels may prevent you from experiencing any benefits at all.
- Includes the powerhouses alpha lipoic acid, taurine, N-acetyl cysteine, L-glycine, and vitamin C to shield delicate eye cells from the damaging oxidative stress caused by UV light.
- Nourishes eyes with zinc, a mineral which is highly concentrated in your retinas which helps them function properly.
- Delivers optimal levels of vitamin A in beta-carotene form, which synthesizes a chemical needed for clear eyesight.Dr. Whitaker made this change based on the AREDS study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, pure beta-carotene, when combined with other eye-supporting nutrients, is what your eyes require for healthy vision.4
- Unparalleled antioxidant protection from carotenoids includingastaxanthin and zeaxanthin â€” important for overall vision, especially critical for seeing color and detail and enhancing the eyes’ ability to keep things in focus.
- Recycles antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E, via Alpha Lipoic Acid(ALA), restoring them to their active forms after they have become oxidized.
- Relieves dry, tired eyes with all-natural schisandra berry.
- Plus, Vision Essentials includes eight additional nutrients that work together to provide extra vision support and protection like no other formula that exists today.
- 1 Nakaishi H, et al. Effects of black currant anthocyanoside intakes on dark adaptation and VDT work induced transient refractive alteration in healthy humans. Alternative Medicine Review 2000;5(6):1â€“10.
- 2 Tominagal, S, et al. Effects of black currant anthocyanosides on visual function. BioScience Laboratories, Saitama, Japan
- 3 Stringham JM, and Hammond R. Macular pigment and visual performance under glare conditions. Optometry and Vision Science, 2008:85(2): 82â€“88.
- 4 ARED Study Research Group. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation of vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for macula health: AREDS Report no. 8. Arch Ophthalmol 2001;119:1417â€“1436
The results of uncontrolled blood sugar can be very scary as mentioned in part 1 of this series of articles but there are ways to prevent blindness as a result of Diabetes.
The simple answer from part 1 was to control blood sugar levels and we examined why a physicians help is important in this matter.
This article will focus on the importance of diet in the life of a diabetic and the effects of a poor diet on the vision of a diabetic as opposed to good things someone with diabetes can do to maintain their vision.
When sugar levels are ignored untold amounts of damage happen in a diabetic’s body including the eyes. If attention is not given to blood sugar levels blindness is almost a certainty.
So what kind of foods are bad for the vision of a diabetic?
Foods that contain trans fats are shown to have an extremely negative effect on blood sugar levels and can also have negative effects on vision.
Highly processed foods are also shown to have negative effects as they usually are high on the glycemic index and therefore tend to cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
Refined flour is included as well as white rice which both can elevate blood sugar levels rapidly and therefore can contribute to vision problems.
Think whole grain, unprocessed / less processed food when making diet choices. The less that’s been done to it the better.
Another recent study (from an article published August 2009) done by the university of oxford showed that in rats (studies done in rats in the past have shown many similarities to human results) when fed a high fat diet even over the course of a few days their brain function and their performance levels during excercide or their tolerance to excercise decreased noticeably.
The rats started with a diet containing 7.5% fat and then 1/2 of the population of rats were then switched to 55% fat diet which is not all that uncommon in the western (read US) diet.
At the end of the study they concluded that there was a significant decrease both in cognitive ability and physical endurance.
Why are the results of that study important to a diabetic in regards to vision?
Because one of the most effective ways to control blood sugar levels is through exercise.
According to the results of the study it would seem that if one has a high fat diet they would more easily tire out from exercise and therefore be less motivated to actually do it.
A vicious circle usually leading to weight gain in diabetics and perpetuating the negative effects of the condition.
Eat whole foods and a low fat diet not only for the direct effects on blood sugar control but also so that exercise will be more desirable / less burdensome.
There are so many companies that offer herbal remedies and nutritional supplements that claim to help Diabetics both to maintain healthy blood sugae levels as well as to help prevent vision problems.
To help we have compiled a list of products offered by reputable companies:
Blood Sugar Regulating Products
- Corrects mineral imbalances in the blood and pancreas
- Improves energy levels and overall health by supporting pancreatic and liver functions
- Lessens cravings for sugary foods due to balanced blood sugar
- Maintains routine balance of cell salts in the body
This product has a $25.95 price tag.
Gymnema is also known as the “Sugar Destroyer”& has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 1,500 years to help maintain normal and healthy blood sugar levels.
Research has also shown that Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) has a beneficial effect on Beta cells in the pancreas and delays glucose absorption in the intestine.
This product has a very reasonable price tag at $14.95.
A very common concern among diabetics is “How can I prevent blindness as a result of my diabetes?
And the answer should be the same almost anywhere you look.
It’s a simple answer though though attaining it is very difficult for many.
The answer is the best way to preventing blindness as a result of diabetes is to control your blood sugar levels.
In various articles on this site we have addressed the symptoms and the basic causes of retinopathy and macular degeneration as well as preventative measures but the following series of articles will examine in more detail things that can help manage diabetes and talk about methods of blood sugar control.
The 3 major things are:
1. Regular checkups with your physician and following sound medical advice
2. A Healthy Diet
3. Regular Excercize
We will also talk about some products that when used in conjunction with the above may be useful to safeguard your vision.
For part 1 of this series we will cover the regular checkups.
Why are regular checkups necessary in order to maintain proper health?
If nothing else checkups allow you to see, if nothing else (usually much more), whether the current steps that you are taking are working.
Let’s use the analogy of a business here.
Any business that is successful and wants to remain successful needs to know what is going on within that business and the only way to really measure the health of a business is to watch the lifeblood of that business also known as money.
If a business owner stops paying attention to or ignores what’s going on with the money ina business the business will start having problems.
The same is true with our health. This is especially the case for diabetics (or others with serious health conditions).
We need to know what’s going on with our bodies or else just like a business that fails because finances are ignored so too our health will fail if ignored.
For diabetics a primary way we can measure our success in regards to maintaining our physical health is to keep track of our blood sugar levels.
To do that we need to at the very least:
1. Have a blood sugar monitor and check our blood sugar levels regularly (as indicated by a physician) and
2. Get a Hemoglobin A1C panel done from time to time as recommended by a physician.
With this information a diabetic can make adjustments and decisions about his / her diet in order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and therefore protect their overall health including healthy vision.
For those who wish to use alternative methods of treating their diabetes this is especially true as a physician can act as an accountant does in a business scenario and give you good advice as well as paint you a good picture of whether your efforts are working, after you can choose the next course of action to take.
The next article will consider why a healthy diet is important and some things that make a diet healthy specifically when it comes to preventing blindness in diabetic individuals.
This video is a super short video from a woman showing the remnant of her experience post surgery. She is She moves her head around so that you can see the remnants of a gas bubble after abouit 15 days. Size was significantly smaller than when the surgery was first done.
Interesting little clip showing what you might expect as far as progressive reduction of the gas bubble.
This short video is a very brief and simple explanation of what to expect if you need to have vitrectomy surgery due to diabetic retinopathy.
Please feel free to leave comments about what questions you still have after considering our website and information.
While you should always consult your physician before taking any medical action we are glad to provide the resources you need to be an informed patient.
For patients who are have advanced retinopathy but who do not need to have a vitrectomy laser treatment is the surgery that is usually recommended.
There are 2 types or methods of laser surgery.
- Focal Laser Treatment
- Scatter Laser Treatment
Focal laser treatment (photocoagulation) is an out patient procedure that will usually be performed right in your doctor’s office and usually takes a very short amount of time.Â Only one session is needed for focal laser treatment and this method has been around used successfullyÂ for many years.
The aim is to stop leakage of blood and other fluids into the eye and the method this treatment uses is to cauterize leaks in the vessels sealing them closed.
Spots from the cauterization can affect vision for some time after the procedure but these usually fade in time.
Scatter laser treatment (panretinal photocoagulation) is used in more serious and advanced cases. It uses the same technology as focal laser treatments but the aim is to get stop and reverse the growth of any new blood vessels that have developed due to the effects of diabetic retinopathy. It accomplishes this by burning the effected areas way from the macula so that they shrink.
By shrinking the abnormal blood vessels retinal detachment is avoided and vision can be saved. Night vision and peripheral (side) vision can be reduced by this procedure.
Usually if you need to have scatter laser treatments multiple sessions will be involved (commonly 2 – 4 sessions).
With all outpatient procedures involving dilation of the eyes and especially laser and vitrectomy surgeries the patient should make sure they have someone who will drive them to and from the procedure as vision will be too poor to drive.
Diabetic retinopathy usually affects diabetics from age 20 and up but don’t wait to get tested because the symptoms may not manifest themselves until it’s too late.
Retinopathy can be causing damage for may years before the symptoms are noticed as can be seen through the experience of a pregnant mom in the following video.
Vitrectomy surgery is one of 2 main medical treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy.
The other alternative (preferable to most people) is laser surgery.
Vitrectomy surgery usually takes about 2 – 3 hours to perform and while it usually takes place on an out patient basis your physician may determine that the procedure take place on an inpatient basis usually with only an overnight or 24 hour stay.
Your doctor will also usually determine whether the operation can be done using only a local anesthetic or whether general anesthesia will be required. In some cases he/she may leave the decision to the patient.
The actual procedure involves removing the vitreous gel from the eye in order to perform repairs to the retina including repairing tears and holes to both the macula and the retina, flattening areas of the retina that have pulled away from the retinal wall, and removing abnormal tissues, both fibrous and scar, from the retinal wall.
In this procedure small cuts are made to the eye in order to get to the affected areas and many times a laser is used to remove the abnormal tissues and stop the growth of abnormal veins.
After the necessary repairs are made the vitreous gel may be replaced with a gas bubble which will eventually dissolve on it’s own and be replaced by the body’s own fluids.
If the body does not replace it a silicone oil is used. However this replacement is temporary and if used it is necessary to have a follow up operation in order to remove it.
After the operation, in order to facilitate proper healing, most people need to reduce their activity for a short time (usually a few days) and the physician will make specific recommendations.
Improved vision will normally take place within a few weeks but can take several months. Blurred vision is nomal and most patients that undergo this procedure recover enough to resume their regular work and activities / lifestyle within about 4 weeks of receiving the operation.
For a short video of a woman that underwent the operation click here.