Shedding Light on Eye Health

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by Dawn Siglain, ND, LAc

Ever wonder how to get that sparkle in your eye? Our eyes radiate from our hearts and souls, which exudes our vibe to the world. When it comes to eye health, preventive care is essential and that is precisely where naturopathic medicine shines. As a naturopathic doctor, I treat the root cause of disease. This means that I have to uncover the cause of the imbalance to reverse the patient’s discomfort.

There are four cranial nerves that affect our eyes. A cranial nerve disorder can affect vision, movement and sensation of the eye. The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. The retina is a nerve layer lining the posterior portion of the eye. It receives light that converts into neural signals, which creates impulses to communicate with our brain. This is how we can interpret images. The retina is an extension of the brain!

Therefore, the health of our retinas is important, since they directly correlate with brain functioning. Chronic conditions and poor habits take a toll on the health of our eyes. Making good choices early in life creates beneficial habits. Healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating proper food and exercise, are crucial. Nutrients for eyes include lutein, zeaxanthin and carotenoids. Movement increases blood flow. Wearing good-quality sunglasses year round is also protective. Sunglasses are especially important for children. Their lenses filter out less ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays, which means the rays penetrate their retinas more easily. This can lead to chronic eye conditions later in life.

Comprehensive regular eye exams are encouraged by the American Optometric Association. Make sure you ask for retinal imaging because it can detect signs of neurodegenerative disease before cognitive impairment sets in. Early intervention is key in slowing down the development of chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease. Noninvasive retinal imaging is a great tool in detecting ocular and systemic diseases early on. It also helps to detect diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, as well as arterial and venous occlusions.

Protect your eyes all the time. Even on an overcast day, there’s still one- third of solar radiation penetrating the Earth. The sun’s rays are strongest daily between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so be extra cautious during those times. Sand and water reflect 25% of the harmful ultraviolet rays, and snow reflects up to 80% of those rays. Knowledge is power!

Dr. Dawn Siglain is a naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist, and reiki practitioner at Inner Source Health, in Huntington. She utilizes both Western and Eastern medicine, including talk therapy, botanical medicine, homeopathy, Bach remedies, nutritional supplementation, and trigger point therapy. For more information, call 631-421-1848, email or visit

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