Nutrition and Eye Health

Nutrition 550

It goes beyond carrots.

Proper nutrition is as much a part of eye health as receiving regular eye exams. Even if you aren’t experiencing a problem with your vision right now, healthy nutrition will help your eyes stay healthy for as long as possible. There are many different nutrients that are essential for maintaining healthy eyes.

Lutien and Zeaxanthin are found in a wide variety of leafy greens and in eggs. Recent studies have shown that both nutrients can help reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

Vitamin C can help reduce the risk of developing cataracts and has been reported to help slow visual acuity loss. Vitamin C can be found in bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwifruit, broccoli, berries and of course, citrus fruit.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that help protect the eyes from pollutants and free radicals. Some studies show that Vitamin E can help prevent the development of cataracts and can help slow the progression of retinal damage. Vitamin E can be found in nuts, fortified cereals and sweet potatoes.

Essential Fatty Acids found in fish and flaxseed, olive, canola and sunflower oils help with the metabolic processes in the body. They are shown to improve brain function and can help with heart function as well. In the eyes, essential fatty acids are important for proper visual development and help the retinas to function as they should.

Zinc is a mineral that helps boost the immune system and helps the brain to function properly. The macula in the back of the eye contains high levels of zinc so maintaining proper levels will help with vision. Also Zinc helps create melanin which can protect the eye from UV damage.

Make sure to talk to your eye doctor about your diet to see if you are getting adequate levels of these nutrients. If you aren’t getting enough from your regular diet, your optometrist may suggest supplements or have other suggestions for you so that your eyes are receiving the benefits of proper nutrition.…

Focus & Go: Lincoln Marathon Recap

The Lincoln Marathon was Sunday, May 2, and our three Focus & Go athletes hit the road after months of training. We thought we’d check in with them after the race to get their thoughts about the event.



So how’d it go?

The race went well! I walked a whole lot less than I thought I’d have to! There’s something about the atmosphere and being surrounded by thousands of excited runners that makes up for a little lack of training. It only took two days of hobbling like a zombie before my legs were fully recovered. Huge win.

Was it what you were expecting?

I knew what to expect with the course. Although I’d been watching the weather for two weeks leading up to the race, I’d been hoping the forecast would miraculously change the day before or the morning of. I wasn’t expecting to run in the rain the entire time, but cool weather is better to run in than hot even if it did take an hour for my hands to thaw post-race.

What were some challenges?

The rain and the cold were challenges. In a perfect world it would have been sunny and just a few degrees warmer. But running is about the challenge. It isn’t about always having the perfect day to get in the miles. That’s part of what makes it fun. I was worried about overdressing/underdressing, and neither of those things happened. I felt cold, but prepared for it with my jacket, gloves, and hat to keep the rain out of my eyes. I brought my SMITH sunglasses along for the ride in case the sun decided to pop out, but unfortunately that never happened.

What was the best thing that happened to you?

The best thing that happened is that I walked far less than I expected to. I thought for sure I’d have to take a little walk break every mile, but I went six miles before even thinking about it. I walked though a couple of water stations (THANK YOU, VOLUNTEERS!), and then again a few times in mile 12. I’m thrilled at my body’s ability to do the race at 18 weeks pregnant with minimal training. Our bodies are so resilient!

Are you going to do it again?

Absolutely! It is one of my favorite races of all time. I’m going to run the Lincoln Half for as long as my body allows me to.



So how’d it go?

The race went very well! I ran it in 1:45 which was 15 minutes slower than I anticipated, however given the cold and wet rain I am happy with how I finished.

Was it what you were expecting?

I would say the race exceeded my expectations! I was surprised by the amount of community support being consistent throughout the race. I anticipated many spectators around the start/finish, but was pleasantly surprised to see them at every mile.

What were some challenges?

This being my first half, I faced a few challenges which, honestly, I had been warned about. The hill along the country club stretch really ate some time. I had also over dressed for the weather having too many layers on which weighed me down as they got wet. I suppose coffee and a Cliff Bar weren’t the best pre-race foods either.

What was the best thing that happened to you?

The best thing to happen was seeing so many familiar faces along the way cheering you on. Hearing your name among a crowd of people has a special way of making the pace more obtainable. My parents and friends managed to see me at 3 locations on the route which made for motivation to keep going. Miles 10-13 onset the mind games, so staying focused on my form and pace was a constant battle.

Are you going to do it again?

I am gladly going to run again. Knowing what to expect and how I felt mid-race, I will be making some changes to my workouts. I recommend it to anyone, even if walking; the experience is well worth it. I have already signed-up for the Good Life Halfsy on Nov. 5 and motivated a few friends to join me.



So how’d it go?

The conditions for the race were great. Nice and cool with a little moisture. Because of that, the run was less draining on my body as a whole. That said, since it was cool and wet out, there were fewer spectators out which made the second half of the race more difficult to power through. My run was going well through about 19 miles and then, my legs started getting pretty weak. I cramped up at about mile 23 but was grateful for different water stations that supplied orange slices to make it through to the end. Running into the stadium was an amazing experience. I was grateful for the hospitality throughout the race and especially at the end of the race.

Was it what you were expecting?

I was not expecting the weather to be as it was and I had hoped more spectators would have been around during the second half of the marathon. That said, I didn’t realize the extent of the beauty of Lincoln. I loved running along Sheridan and Normal Blvd and noticing the full bloom of Spring.

What were some challenges?

I cramped up around mile 23 which made it challenging to continue. Additionally, the hill going up to Holmes Lake was a bear to get through; my legs became heavy and my breathing was labored.

What was the best thing that happened to you?

I got to see my three kids at mile 4. I stopped and we took photos. My kids inspired me to finish strong. Also, I had a few friends and my wife praying and telling me Bible verses along the way.

Are you going to do it again?

My plan is to run the full again next year. Lincoln puts on a really good event.

Meet Vision Therapy Grad: Harrison

Dr. Steve Sandman referred seven-year-old Harrison to the Center for Vision Development after his mother had noticed how much he was struggling in school. Harrison had also been experiencing motion sickness in the car and had problems maintaining balance and riding his bike. Dr. Sandman thought that he would be a good candidate for Vision Therapy.

“He was actually on the verge of getting a referral for OT/Special Education/Title I help,” says Shannon, Harrison’s mother. “Since starting Vision Therapy, he has improved greatly. He has moved up in reading groups. His report card and testing scores have dramatically improved to an above average student.”

Shannon credits a lot of Harrison’s success to his hard work and the patience of Rose, his Vision Therapist. For more information on Vision Therapy and how it can help your child, click here.