Tag Archives: ipoh healthcare

Nutrition for Your Eyes

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Dr. S.S. Gill

In our series on Eye Health, Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. S.S. Gill talks to us about how nutrition plays a part in eye health.

The question many people ask Ophthalmologists is whether nutrition and vitamins play a part in maintaining healthy eyes. The answer in a nutshell is, “Yes, your eyes reflect what you eat!” Good nutrition is important for eye health and of course for general health too. Good nutrition helps to nourish our eyes, protect against eye infections and allows the eyes to function properly.

Diets Rich in Vitamins

A typical example of how nutrition plays a vital part in the health of our eyes is a childhood condition leading to blindness called xerophthalmia. This condition is due to a lack of vitamin A in the diet and is commonly seen in developing countries.

Certain foods are essential for good eye health. They maintain healthy cells in the eye which is so essential for proper function. Amongst the more important ones are the anti-oxidant vitamins A, C and E. These vitamins can be found in many different sources of fruit and vegetables such as oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, carrots and green leafy vegetables.

Oxidative Stress

Our bodies constantly react with the oxygen in our environment. Due to this activity, humans produce tiny molecules called free radicals. These free radicals affect our cells, sometimes damaging them. This is called oxidative stress and it plays a role in how macular degeneration develops.

Carotenoids – Lutein & Zeaxanthin

Studies have shown that two types of carotenoids called Lutein and Zeaxanthin are essential for eye health. In the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) of 4,757 patients, it showed that those who had a higher intake of Lutein with Zeaxanthin in their diet had less incidence of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

These carotenoids keep the eyes safe from oxidative stress especially from the exposure to blue light (high energy photons). Lutein has also been shown to improve retinal sensitivity. Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found naturally in vegetables, fruits, yellow peppers, mango, bilberries, spinach and broccoli.

A Balanced Diet

A good balanced diet that includes sufficient fresh fruits and vegetables is therefore essential. However, if you feel that your diet lacks adequate vitamins and minerals, you might want to consider taking a supplement for general and eye health when:

* your diet does not include enough fresh fruit and vegetables .

* it is hard to obtain or prepare fresh fruit and vegetables.

* you have been told to take a vitamin supplement by your eye doctor.

Key Points to Remember

In summary, to maintain good eye health, you should:

* Eat a good, balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

* Take multivitamin supplements with carotenoids if needed.

* Stop smoking – cigarette smoke contains large amounts of free radicals.

* Protect your eyes from sunlight. Use good quality sunglasses. Ones that filter off harmful ultraviolet rays and lenses that are polarised are best.

* Get your eyes tested every 2 years if you are generally healthy but more often if you have medical problems like diabetes mellitus.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

Low Back Pain

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Dr. Manuel K. Punnia Raj, Consultant Physical Therapy Rehabilitation

By Dr. Manuel K. Punnia Raj

Low back pain is a common ailment affecting 80% of people at some point in their lives. The majority of lower back pain stems from benign musculoskeletal problems and is referred to as non specific low back pain.

Management

  • Physical Therapy Rehabilitation.  Physical Therapy can include heat, cryotherapy, soft tissue manipulation, spinal mobilization, ultrasound and Interferential therapy. Active therapies like stretching, strengthening and aerobic exercises help in recovery. The right method of exercising instructed by a qualified physiotherapist can restore motion and strengthen your lower back, helping in relieving pain and preventing future episodes of low back pain.
  • Acute Low Back Pain.  For acute cases that are not debilitating, low back pain may be best treated with conservative self-care, including: application of heat or cold and continued activity within the limits of the pain. Engaging in physical activity within the limits of pain aids recovery. Even with cases of severe pain, some activity is preferred to prolonged sitting or lying down, but be wary of movements that could further strain the back.
  • Chronic Low Back Pain.  Low back pain is more likely to be persistent among people who previously required time off from work because of low back pain, those who expect passive treatments to help, those who believe that back pain is harmful or disabling or fear that any movement whatever will increase their pain. Surgery may be indicated when conservative treatment is not effective in reducing pain or when the patient develops progressive and functionally limiting neurologic symptoms such as leg weakness, bladder or bowel incontinence.

Low Back Pain Prevention

The prevention of back pain is itself, somewhat controversial. It has long been thought that exercise and an all-around healthy lifestyle would prevent back pain. Several studies have found that the wrong type of exercise such as high-impact activities may increase the chance of increasing back pain. Nonetheless, exercise is important for overall health and should not be avoided. Low-impact activities such as swimming, walking and bicycling can increase overall fitness without straining the low back.

  • Specific Exercises: Talk to your physiotherapist about how to perform these exercises.
    • Abdominal crunches, when performed properly, strengthen abdominal muscles and may decrease the tendency to suffer back pain.
    • Stretching exercises are helpful in alleviating tight back muscles.
    • The pelvic tilt also helps alleviate tight back muscles.
  • Standing: While standing, keep your head up and stomach pulled in. If you are required to stand for long periods of time, you should have a small stool on which to rest one foot at a time. Do not wear high heels.
  • Sitting: Chairs of appropriate height with good lumbar support are preferable. Automobile seats should also have adequate low-back support. If not, a small pillow or rolled towel behind the lumbar area will provide adequate support.
  • Sleeping: Individual needs vary. If the mattress is too soft many people will experience backache. A hard firm mattress is always good to sleep on; a thick mattress pad will help soften a mattress that is too hard.
  • Lifting: Don’t lift objects that are too heavy for you. If you attempt to lift something, keep your back straight up, head up and lift with your knees. Keep the object close to you, don’t stoop over to lift. Tighten your stomach muscles to keep your back in balance.

For more Information on Physical Health Contact your right health partner: PHYSIO BEYOND – The Physical Rehabilitation Specialist at 05-5478786.