Eye on Health

The eyes are the windows to the
soul. We’ve heard this phrase before and recent research is
giving this saying a whole new meaning. Studies are showing
that a routine eye exam can detect a wide range of systemic
diseases that may go otherwise undetected, such as high blood
pressure, diabetes and heart disease. According to the
American Academy of Opthalmology, the eye is the
only place in the body where without surgery doctors can look
into the eyes and see veins, arteries, and blood vessels,
giving them an inside look at a patient’s general health. Join
us as we take a look at the latest eye care solutions and
get ready to see things a bit more clearly. Access Health
starts right now. MUSIC
OK everybody, I have a confession to make. Here it is –
I’m really happy that we’re talking about eye health today
because I happen to be blind as a bat. And yes, I happen to wear
glasses most of the time. But no matter how good or bad your eyes
happen to be, experts say: there’s a new eye problem that
affects nearly, listen to this, 70% of adults. And why so many?
Well it all has to do with technology. So here to tell us
what it is and how to fix it is Veneeta Eason from Carl Zeiss
Vision and Dr. Kaplan, doctor of optometry.
Welcome, I’m so glad to have you here. Thanks for having us.
Let’s jump right in cause it’s important. Doctor, what is this
condition and what are its causes? Well, digital eyestrain
is a condition that’s basically caused by interaction with
technology. The symptoms the patients begin to experience are
red eyes, dry eyes, headache, fatigue, and disruption to
normal sleep patterns. Now specifically, the reason that
that this happens is that we’re moving our working distance
closer. We normally would read at 18 to 16 inches. Now with our
digital devices, we’re working at 8 to 10 inches. That creates
a lot of demand for our focusing muscles and like any other
muscle, it’s going to fatigue, and when it fatigues, it’s going
to cause headaches, gonna cause general distress to the visual
system. When you concentrate on anything up close, your blink
rate goes down and when your blink rate goes down your eyes
dry out, they become irritated and red at the end of the day.
It seems to affect our sleep patterns as well. Absolutely,
One of the most interesting facets of this, is
the blue light emitted by the displays on all of these digital
devices disrupts the normal melatonin production in the
brain. So it’s important, I think, for parents to monitor
their kids usage of these devices a couple of hours
beforehand so that the kids can get a good nights sleep. And to
practice what they preach cause I know I do not do that. It
seems as if the, you know, our technology is taking over our
lives and also taking over our eyes. What can we do as far as
maybe lifestyle changes, just common sense things that we can
do to sort of get some relief from digital eyestrain? Well the
first thing you wanna do is remember to take frequent
breaks. There’s an old 20-20 adage – every 20 minutes take a
20 second break. You wanna make sure that you’re blinking and
that’s a conscious effort as you’re working up close. And
then there are – there’s a wide variety of optical solutions to
help minimize these effects. Oh, well that’s good because we’re
glad to have you here Veneeta. You do work for Zeiss. I do. And
I know I wear glasses obviously. So for those of us who do wear
glasses. There’s a real solution that a lot of people don’t know
about. And that’s really true. The issue is digital eyestrain
is real and people don’t associate it with something that
they can control. They think it’s just a natural consequence
of what they do with their eyes. And companies like Zeiss are on
the forefront of really understanding human behavior and
being able to create solutions that take into account what you
do on a daily basis. And so, yes, there are eyeglasses out
there that can help you see and feel better. And within the
Zeiss technology we have something called digital eye
technology, that we’ve integrated into our eyeglasses.
And what it does, is it helps you to do what you naturally do,
but feel and see better at the same time. Now, for those who
don’t know who Carl Zeiss is, who Zeiss is. They are really
worldwide leaders in this industry. But not just for
eyeglass wear. Exactly. They have a history of optics dating
back to the 1800’s and when you think of Zeiss, we are in almost
every technology that requires precision optics. So for
example, two-thirds of microsurgeons use Zeiss
equipment. So cool. When you think of the professional film
industry, many of the Academy Award winning films that you see
today were shot with the Zeiss lens. We even go into Nobel
Prize winners. Many of them, and there’s over 20 of them, have
actually used Zeiss microscopes to help them with their
breakthrough. So talk to me. You you you were very specific. You
went in and got our, my vision specs and you created these
specifically for me. What should people be considering when they
are looking for lenses to treat certain vision problems or
digital eyestrain. Not all lenses are created equal.
There’s a wide range of performance and quality and you
really don’t wanna get the cheapest lenses. I can see
there’s sort of like a blueness in here. Does this have to do
with the sort of filtering that blue light? Well what we
designed for you is a lens called Zeiss Drive Safe and they
are designed for two-thirds of the patients that express
concern about driving in low light conditions. And in that
situation, you know, low light, rain, night, or even with the
glare that’s oncoming from traffic. So we put technology in
those lenses to help you see better and feel better when
you’re driving to not be as anxious. Well let me tell you
something Veneeta, I’ve worn glasses for now, I was
calculating 16 years. I’ve worn these for 4 months and
immediately felt the difference. I had a lot of anxiety driving
at night. I have 2 small kids, which is not acceptable. The
glare from the – I just couldn’t see the light, the fuzz, the
aura, all of that. No more, now I see crisp, clear and what I
love most, they’re so lightweight. They’re beautiful
lenses. I thank you so much for them. They look beautiful on
you. So doctor before we go, any last words of wisdom? Yes, I
would say if you’re using a digital device for more than 2
hours a day make sure you convey that information to your doctor
so they can come up with an appropriate optical solution.
Your eyes are important. And Veneeta, where can we go for
more information? You can go to Zeiss.com/eyeglasslenses to
learn all about the solutions that we have and find a Zeiss
certified eye care professional that can help you. Well, I love
mine. I am not giving them up. And you can also log on to
accesshealth.tv for more information.
SFX Raise your hand if you
wear contact lenses. OK, now raise your hand if you think you
do a pretty good job of keeping your lenses clean. You may wanna
go ahead and put your hand down. Because listen to this –
according to the CDC, 99% of contact lens users have at least
one bad hygiene habit putting them at risk for a serious eye
infection. So first of all, what are we doing wrong when it comes
to cleaning our contact lenses? Dr. April Jasper has seen it
all. There are many things that we can do better when we care
for our lenses. One of the interesting things that we hear
all the time people are away from their solution and they
will actually rinse their lenses in tap water, which is a big no
no. And, you know, they’ll they’ll take their contacts and
put them in their mouth and think that that’s OK as well.
But the reality is, it’s not. It’s super important that we do
things in a particular way. One of the most important things,
wash your hands, and it’s important to wash your hands
with soap and water and use a lint free towel to dry your
hands before putting your lenses in or taking your lenses out.
The second thing we find is that sometimes patients double dip.
So they’ll re-use their solution and put their lenses in solution
one night, take them out, wear the lenses and then use that
same solution a second time, which can be very dangerous as
well. And then the third thing, if we can look at that, is just
to make sure that you’re very careful to avoid swimming and
showering in your contact lenses. And though we may joke
about our silly habits. Bad contact lens hygiene is no
laughing matter. Dr. Jasper explains some of the
consequences. As a result of poor contact lens hygiene, one
of the things we find and probably one of the most
serious, are eye infections. And I can tell you nearly one
million patients a year are diagnosed with eye infections as
a result of poor contact lens hygiene. That’s definitely
something we can fix, it’s avoidable. I bet a lot of people
who have eye discomfort are blaming their contact lenses.
When in reality, it can be how we’re taking care of our lenses.
And when it comes to contact lens discomfort, the solution
may literally be, the solution. All contact lens solutions are
not created equal. Most importantly, there’s 2 different
kinds: multipurpose solutions and hydrogen peroxide solutions.
Multipurpose solutions seem convenient; however, most people
that use them do not use them correctly, which could put them
at risk for serious eye infections. The other challenge
with multipurpose solutions is that they have preservatives in
them, which some patients can be
sensitive to. Today’s hydrogen peroxide solutions are highly
effective at cleaning and disinfecting, and they’re very
simple to use. And they don’t have those preservatives in them
that some patients are sensitive to. Plus, as you can from the
bubbles, you can actually see it working. OK, so how do we know
if our solution is actually disinfecting our lenses? And do
some solutions disinfect better than others? Let’s take a look.
The Clear Care brand is the number one recommended peroxide
solution by eye doctors. But Clear Care Plus is the next
level of lens care. So what you’ll do, is you’ll take your
contact lenses, you’ll open the basket, just like so. You’ll
place the lens in the basket, both lenses. Then you take the
solution and you rinse the lenses for 5 seconds. You then
fill the cup to the line with the solution, and the solution,
as you see here that we’re using, the peroxide solution.
Once you start to see the bubbles after you place the lens
in the basket and into the cup, those bubbles are that hydrogen
peroxide system killing germs and bacteria. They kill 99.9% of
those germs. Even the very difficult ones. The bubbles are
loosening that dirt, disinfecting the lens, and
removing the proteins as it works. You leave it soak for a
minimum of 6 hours and then when you take the lenses out, after
that, the solution that’s left is a gentle preservative free
saline that’s more like your tears than most multipurpose
solutions. How much difference do properly cleaned lenses make?
The proof is right before your eyes. Patients can develop
irritation on the eye due to a variety of reasons. Including
not cleaning their lenses properly, or from some
preservatives in a solution being soaked up by the contact
lens, like a sponge. And then being released on the eye. If
serious enough, these irritated areas could lead to a serious
eye infection. We can see these irritated areas in the office by
putting a special dye in the eye, which makes them show up
bright green. This is called corneal staining. You can see
there is less staining on the eye when the patient wore a lens
cleaned with peroxide solution than with a multipurpose
solution. Less staining means the solution is more compatible
with your eye. When a patient comes in with contact lens
discomfort or eye discomfort that is related to their contact
lenses, one of my recommendations for them is to
use a solution that is going to provide long-lasting comfort.
Clear Care Plus is a peroxide based solution with hydro-glide,
which is a molecule that reconditions soft contact lenses
to provide moisture all day long and create better comfort
towards the end of the day. For more info about healthy contact
lens hygiene, visit clearcaresolution.com or just
log on to accesshealth.tv. Carrots aren’t the only
vegetable that’s good for your eyes. Studies show that garden
peas have a vitamin called lutein which is an antioxidant
nutrient that helps keep the cells in your eyes healthy. Up
next, a dairy free solution so you can eat your peas and
smoothies too, in the same glass.
MUSIC The American love affair with
dairy milk goes back as far as we can
remember. But that was then and this is now. Today, well over a
dozen countries rank above America in the world order of
dairy milk consumption. In fact, America per capita consumption
has declined steadily for the past 25 years. The increase in
lactose intolerance may have something to do with that. But
what is certain is that Americans are looking for
lactose free alternatives more than ever before. One great new
option is sitting here, right before me. And here to explain
is Registered Dietician, Desiree Nielsen. Welcome Desiree.
Thank you Ereka. So it’s true, there
really is this huge push away from milk. Can you talk about
this milk alternative movement. I think lactose intolerance was
really the spark because a lot of Americans deal with lactose
intolerance on a daily basis in addition to dairy allergy and
intolerance. But I think what’s really interesting for me, as a
dietician is that I’m seeing this this move away from animal
based diets for reasons of health, food quality and safety,
and sustainability, and toward a plant based diet. So tell us
what exactly is a plant based diet and what are the benefits?
Well, for me, at its best, a plant based diet is all about
whole foods. So yes, the fruits and the veggies, but also whole
grains, beans, nuts and seeds. You know, I think people don’t
think about those other alternatives in their daily
diet, and the power of putting more plants on your plate is
enormous, you know. Yes. It protects your heart, helps you
lower cholesterol, keep your blood pressure stable. For
diabetes management it helps to keep your blood sugars balanced,
particularly when you’re shifting to whole foods.
Something really exciting, I know Global Gardens has come up
with the very first vegetable based milk. I have to ask you
though. We’ve got lots of options. We’ve got coconut,
we’ve got almond. Do we really need another milk alternative?
You know I think we do, and I see it in my practice all the
time. Because I do a lot of work with people with digestive
health issues, allergy and intolerant. So people not doing
dairy. People who choose not to do or can’t do soy because of
allergy issues, and the same thing with nuts. And what I
think is really spectacular about Veggemo is that it’s
an allergen friendly option that’s made entirely from
vegetables. So it’s called Veggemo and we know it’s
vegetable based, but what exactly is in it? Well it’s 3
vegetables add its heart. So potato and tapioca from casaba
root, give it the smoothness, the creaminess, the mouth feel
of milk, which is really important for people. Especially
when they’re first transitioning over from dairy milk. But the
star ingredient is really pea protein. So if you’re a health
foodie, you know all about pea protein because it’s easily
digestible. It’s allergen friendly and it contains all the
essential amino acids. But for me, what’s really cool about pea
protein is that it’s sustainable. So the U.N.
actually declared this the international year of the pulse,
and peas are a pulse crop. And the reason why they did that is
because it’s nutritious, they’re economical and affordable for
everyone, but also when you plant pulses you give back to
the earth. They’re what we call nitrogen fixers. So they help
fix nitrogen for the soil so every time you plant a pulse
crop you make the soil healthier and healthier for years to come.
I’m just impressed that it tastes so much like milk. It has
that consistency of milk which I don’t get in the other
alternatives. But I have to ask you, how does it stack up to
milk when it comes to the nutrients? Well, and there’s
really great news here because for people who are used to
drinking nonfat milk, the calorie content and the natural
sugars content is roughly equivalent to nonfat milk. It
has the calcium, the vitamin D, you’d expect, and actually more
vitamin B-12, which if you’re totally plant based is really
important. We should emphasize that because if you’re plant
based you get virtually no vitamin B. You have to take a
vitamin for that. It’s the one thing that you absolutely have
to supplement on a totally vegan plant based diet. And you get it
in a glass of Vegeemo. Incredible. And as far as
allergens are concerned? I think what’s really special about
Veggemo is both what’s in it but what’s also not in it. And
so there is no dairy, there’s no lactose. It’s free of soy, it’s
made without nuts. It’s vegan, kosher, and for people, as we’re
talking more and more about genetically modified organisms,
it’s totally GMO free. So I understand that Veggemo is
brand new to North America and I hear it’s doing really well.
It’s so fun to watch the response because it is brand new
and already in Canada it won one of the top 10 new grocery
innovations. And recently here in the U.S., I was at the latest
natural product show, it was one of the top 3 new beverages in
the show. And VegNews Magazine actually named it the top new
vegan product at the show. So we’ve got original, unsweetened
and vanilla. I believe that I’m drinking the original. It’s
fabulous. You’re drinking the original and one of the great
things is that it’s delicious in the glass, but it’s also what
you can do with it. We found that when vegetarian chefs were
working with Veggemo, you can actually use it one to one in
recipes. So whatever making it behaves exactly like milk, which
you can’t always say with some of the other alternatives. So
you don’t need anything else? From drinking to baking to even
frothing it up for a latte, if you love lattes. Where can we
get this? You can find it now online at Amazon and ebay, and
this is actually a sneak peak for everyone so it’s gonna be on
the store shelves soon. Thank you so much Desiree for joining
us. And you can head to accesshealth.tv for all this
great information. It’s so good. I keep drinking the whole thing.
MUSIC Food allergies are on the rise,
especially for children, but no one knows exactly why that’s
happening. The latest numbers find that food allergies affect
an estimated 4 to 6 percent of children in the U.S. and yes,
they can be severe and life threatening. So awareness is
key. Returning to the show with lots of information is Michele
Cassalia of the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America. Welcome
back to the show Michele. Always good to have you here.
It’s awesome to be here. What are some of the most common food
allergens? The top 8 food allergens are: tree nuts,
peanuts, shellfish, fish, eggs, wheat, soy, and milk. Luckily,
it’s been made a little easier because the food companies have
to label the top 8 allergens. They’re required to do so. Yes,
they’re required to do so. But even then it’s still tricky
because sometimes they’re hidden names are other names for the
top 8 allergens. For example, milk can also be casein. But you
can go to the kids with food allergy website and you can find
information as far as the hidden names or other names for these
allergens. We even have travel cards that you can download and
take with you when you’re traveling out and about. That’s
great news. And that’s the kidswithfoodallergies.org and of
course you can also go to our website accesshealth.tv.
Michele, thank you so much for coming with such good
information. Oh, thanks for having me. No problem.

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