You hear that term for perfection in eyesight all the time: 20/20 vision?
But what does it mean? And how many people achieve it?
20/20 vision is a term used to express normal vision acuity, known as the clarity or sharpness of vision. That means you can see clearly at 20 feet what normally should be seen at that distance. If you have 20/100 vision, for instance, that means you must be as close as 20 feet to what a person with normal vision can see at 100 feet, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
About half of all American adults don’t have the 20/20 vision “physicians consider optimal” because they are nearsighted, farsighted, or have an irregular corneal curve known as astigmatism, according to the National Eye Institute.
But some people have even better than 20/20 vision, such as 20/15 vision, which even sharper than average. People are considered “legally blind” if their corrected vision (with eyeglasses or contacts) is 20/200 or worse. Outside the U.S., vision is measured in feet and the standard expressed is “6/6.”
Eyesight Changes as You Get Older
As people age, or the years after someone turns 60, a number of eye diseases may develop that can change vision permanently.
In Chinese medicine, the liver connection
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, although all the organs have some relations to the eyes, liver is primarily known as the key connection to proper eye function. Eye problems that you have are usually traced to deficiency in the condition of the liver, according to TCM. If that is out of balance, your vision can be impacted.
Nutrients to Help Eyesight
Many children growing up have been told to eat their carrots to help their eyes, and that is certainly true, because of beta-carotene and vitamin A.
Vitamins C, E, zinc and lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids all are described as significantly playing a role in preventing eye diseases. Antioxidants also protect against eye damage, such as from sunlight or air pollution.
Chinese Herbs To Strengthen Eyesight
One of the most common known Chinese herbs for treatment of eye conditions is Gou Qi Zi, known as Chinese Woberry Fruit or Lycium Fruit, described as helping to brighten the eyes, correct blurred vision and also diminish visual acuity and dizziness. It is high in antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
Other Chinese herbs are used for eye ailments or to improve vision include:
- Ju hua (chrysanthemum flower), which clears the liver, improves the red, eyes, and decreases excessive tearing, clears floaters and blurred vision.
- Qing Xiang Zi (Celosia Seeds) used for painful red, swollen eyes and cataracts.
- San Qi (Pseudignseng Root), repairs broken blood vessels in the eye, clears blood spots
- Chan Tui (Cicado Moulting) clears blurred and reduces redness, also used in to treat painful, swollen eyes.
- Mi Menghua (Buddleia Flower Bu) improves sensitivity to light and excessive tearing.
Health problems affecting other parts of your body can affect your vision as well, such as people with diabetes or hypertension who are taking medications and have eye related side effects.
Many eye diseases have no early symptoms, they may develop painlessly and you may not notice changes in your vision. There are a host of eye issues and concerns that people work to prevent or seek treatment, including:
Cataracts give a cloudy appearance to the clear lens of the eye. Clouded vision can make it more difficult to do tasks such as driving a car or reading. Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t seem to disturb anyone, but eventually they can interfere with vision. Stronger lighting and eyeglasses may help someone deal with cataracts, but cataract surgery, a general safe procedure, may be needed if the problem gets worse, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Glaucoma usually occurs when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye, increases pressure on it and damages the eye’s optic nerve. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness for people over 60 years old, but can be prevented with early treatment.
The condition occurs in people with diabetes. With high blood sugar from diabetes, it can damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina, which leads to diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can cause blood vessels in the retina to leak fluid or hemorrhage that could distort vision.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is considered a common condition, and a leading cause of vision loss in people over 50. It occurs when there is damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina that is needed for sharp clear vision. There are risk factors for such a condition, such as smoking, race (more common among Caucasians than other groups), family history and genetics.
Traditional Chinese medicine has been used for many years in the treatment of AMD, according to a study. Among the herbs used for that purpose are Astragalus membranaceus extracts, which has been shown to have antioxidant properties, and Angelica sinensis, also used for inflammation.
The retina is a layer of tissue, sensitive to light, that lines the inside of the eye and sends messages, visually, through the optic nerve to the brain. When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position, according to the National Eye Institute.
If not promptly treated, retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss.
It is a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eyes, according to the American Optometric Association. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Dry eye is common and often a chronic problem, particularly for older adults.
Taking Care of Your Eyes
It’s important to maintain your eye health.
You may not realize that health problems affecting other parts of your body can affect your vision as well. That can be people with diabetes or hypertension such has high blood pressure who are taking medications that have eye related side effects have the greatest risk for developing vision problems.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for the Treatment of Age-related Macular Degeneration-Evaluation of WO2023079419.
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