Question : I HAVE a five-year-old daughter who has astigmatism of 250 and 275 in her eyes. What health supplement should I give her?
Answer : THERE'S a bilberry and eyebright formulation she can take to promote healthy eyesight. It also relieves various eye conditions such as cataracts, conjunctivitis, itchy and irritated eyes. Bilberry contains potent antioxidants that prevent free radical damage to cells and capillaries, as the retina is one of the most capillary-rich parts of the body. Bilberry extract has been shown to hasten the regeneration of rhodopsin (a light-sensitive pigment found in the rods of the retina) and improve visual acuity in dim light.
Eyebright (Euphrasia spp.) is another herb that helps the eye. It tightens the mucous membrane of the eye and appears to relieve inflamed eyes due to conjunctivitis, itchy and irritated eyes. It's often used to fight infections and allergic conditions affecting the eyes. Eyebright is rich in iridoid glycosides, flavonoids, and tannins.
Lycium (Lycium chinense) better known as kei chi is commonly used in Chinese cooking. The bright red to orange lycium fruit contains beta-carotene as well as various carotenoids and other antioxidants which are beneficial for eye health.
Have your daughter consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in beta-carotene, and spinach and corn (rich sources of lutein and zeaxanthin) to improve her eyesight. Keep her away from caffeinated soft drinks, tea and coffee as they are contra-indicated in people with eye problems and failing eyesight.
As a rich source of lutein, spinach offers protection against macular degeneration.