Floaters is the term given to various types of deposits that can in the vitreous humour. The technical name for seeing floaters is “myodesopsia”. Floaters can be of various sizes and shapes. They can appear as shadow like shapes. These can appear on their own or with several others. They can also appear as threads, cobweb like fragments, shapes that look like cells – either singular or in groups. There is a particular type of floater which is called Muscae volitantes (from the Latin, meaning ‘flying flies’) which are small spots as indicated by the name. These shapes do exist within the eye itself, they are not illusions. If you have floaters you will notice that they move when you move your eyes. They tend to drift slowly, and it is difficult to try and focus on them as they are, as mentioned, within the eye itself. When first seeing floaters they can become quite annoying if you try to focus on them. It is natural to try to look at them to understand them further, but they will follow the motion of the eye, at much annoyance. The best thing to do is relax and just acknowledge that they are there.
It is thought that floaters originate in the embryo. It is also thought that they come about because of some sort of degenerative changes within the vitreous humour or on the retina itself. Floaters are quite common and do not cause any serious problems.
By using palming you can begin to relieve the strain and stress from your mind and the eyes. Most people find it is easiest to relax the eyes when they are closed. To do palming you have to warm your hands by rubbing them together vigorously. Once they are warm, cover the closed eyes, without touching the eyelids or applying pressure on the eyes themselves. The warmth from your hands relaxes the nerves and helps in blood circulation around the eyes.
The aim of palming is to achieve a complete relaxation of the eye. If you do not see complete blackness when palming, then there is still stress somewhere on the eye. You may see colors, shapes, flashes. When there is no light passing through to the eye there should be blackness. Anything else is stress being placed on the optic nerve, giving the illusion of light. It is difficult to see complete blackness unless the eye is perfectly relaxed, so this technique could take quite a while to master.
Palming can bring a great amount of rest and relaxation. Because of this the circulation opens up in the visual system. This is the palming technique:
- sit comfortably in a chair, make sure you have good posture
- rest your elbows on a cushion or other type of support. You can use a table or desk – but make sure you are not leaning over or turning your head upwards
- rub your hands together to generate warmth
- slightly cupping your hands, place your left hand over your left eye. The base of the hand rests on your cheekbone. The hand is slightly angled, so that they point to a 2 O’clock position
- now place the right hand over the right eye. Again the base of the hand on the right cheekbone, the fingers angled and resting on the fingers of the left hand
- breathe in deeply, slow and relaxedly
Macula degeneration is an eye disease that affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field. Very small, fragile blood vessels begin to leak blood and fluid in the retina causing further damage and the macular degeneration progresses. It is still unknown why parts of the retina become diseased.
It has been shown that a combination of high-dose beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc can reduce the risk of progressing from early to advanced AMD by about 25 percent.
There is pigment in the macula that appears to act as a filter to protect the macular area against oxidation by light. Also this macular pigment can scavenge free radicals. In 2007, a study at the National Eye Institute, Maryland found that Lutein and zeaxanthin protect against macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin, two yellow colored antioxidants found in leafy greens like spinach and kale, are the predominant pigments in this area.
Eating foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin can lower your risk of macular degeneration.
To get the benefits of these antioxidants, some researchers believe you need to eat about 6 mg a day. But the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin needed to treat macular degeneration rises to about 11-12 mg per day. Because of the quality of diets these days it is estimated that a person only gets 1-2mg per day.
The best sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin are:
- Kale and spinach
- Turnip and collard greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Brussels sprouts
- Egg yolk
By far the best source of lutein is in egg yolks. This source is superior because it is more easily absorbed by your body.
Lutein is an oil-soluble nutrient, so in order for the body to absorb it so try adding some fat like olive oil, butter, or coconut oil, to the leafy greens.