Retinal detachment is difficult to prevent, but prompt treatment may save your vision. Get familiar with how your eyes work so you can recognize symptoms that require emergency care and give yourself the best chance of a full recovery.
The Facts About Retinal Detachment
1. Get to know your retina
The light-sensitive tissue lining the back of your eye is called the retina. The retina converts the images that enter through your eye lens into electrical signals that your brain can interpret.
2. Understand how a retina detaches
Retinal tissue sometimes pulls away from the blood vessels it needs for oxygen and nutrients. Our eyes are filled with a clear vitreous gel between the retina and lens. When that gel shrinks, it can pull and tear the retina creating one common cause of retinal detachment.
3. Spot the warning signs
The most common symptoms include floaters that look like spots and lines before your eyes or sudden flashes of light. You may also feel like a curtain is falling across your vision or you may notice a loss inside vision.
Knowing When to Take Additional Precautions
1. Use extra care after age 50
The vitreous gel in our eyes naturally shrinks with age. Ask your doctor what eye examinations you need and keep all your appointments.
2. Gather your family history
You may be at increased risk if one or more family members have had a detached retina. Put together a family medical history and share it with your doctor.
3. Monitor extreme nearsightedness
Myopic eyes are longer and tend to stretch the retina. Talk with your doctor about your risks.
4. Be vigilant after cataract surgery
Cataract surgery can work wonders, but it can also increase the risk for detached retinas. Let your doctor know what procedures you’ve had done and if there were any complications.
5. Manage diabetes
Advanced diabetes is linked to a specific form of retinopathy. Take your medication and adopt an overall healthy lifestyle.
6. Avoid eye injuries
It’s relatively rare for a blow to the eye to cause retinal detachment. Still, you can lower your odds even more by using safety gear during hazardous work or sports.
Treating Retinal Detachment
1. Get examined immediately.
If you see spots or flashes or experience diminished vision, go to an emergency room or call 911 right away. Painless procedures with an ophthalmoscope or ultrasound can identify the issue and potentially save your vision.
2. Prepare for surgery.
Surgery is required to treat a detached retina. Your doctor will describe the options, and usually include laser surgery, freezing, or injecting an air bubble. These procedures have a high rate of success when performed promptly. Your doctor will advise you on aftercare which may include medication, rest and keeping your head still.
3. Live with holes.
On the other hand, holes can form in the retina as a normal part of aging. Your doctor may advise you that no treatment is needed so long as you remain free of any symptoms.
4. Buy new glasses.
You’ll probably need at least one new pair of glasses after your operation. Today there are prescriptions specifically made to optimize vision for patients who have been treated for a detached retina.
5. Find support.
Even if your vision remains impaired, there are many resources for living better. Reach out to online support groups or resources in your local community. There may be free or discounted transportation services. Enlist the help of your family and friends and modify your home for maximum safety.
Protect your vision by becoming familiar with the signs of retinal detachment. Most surgeries to repair a detached retina are successful, so immediate medical care makes all the difference.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health, your environment, and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them), and can even help you with detoxification. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.
For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight, and is a great way to detox your body!
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
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