You are what you eat: recipes for helping healthy eyes


We were all taught growing up that carrots were the wonder-food that could make you see in the dark - and as exciting as that sounds I’m not convinced. I’ve eaten many-a-carrot in my time, but sadly neither from-frozen-overboiled-school-dinner batons nor juliennes dipped in luxurious hummus have granted me with the supernatural gift of unassisted night vision. There’s an interesting story behind this myth which you can read about in another of our blog’s here.





However, not all hope is lost. Evidence suggests there is good reason to believe that green leafy veggies can greatly benefit general eye health. Though vegetables like kale, spinach and cabbage can’t give you superpowers they can help you maintain healthy eyes and good vision because of the nutrients they contain. Organically grown veg are supposedly more nutrient dense and arguably tastier so even better if you can get your hands on some of those.



Want some inspiration?
My iClinic’s team have contributed their favourite green veggie recipes and we’re sharing them with you so you’ve got no excuse to avoid eating your greens!

Kale Crisps - great snack or sprinkled over salads, pastas and stir-fries. It’s simply seasoned curly kale baked in the oven.



Prep time - 10 mins


Cook time - 15 mins



Ingredients

250g curly kale


Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste



French-style

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp dried rosemary or mixed herbs

Drizzle of olive oil, about 1 tbsp

Japanese-style

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp tomato puree

Generous pinch of chili flakes

Sesame seeds  

Drizzle of sesame or coconut oil, about 1 tbsp

1 tsp of honey, wasabi and/or miso paste if you like

Korean-style

1 tbsp gochujang (delicious korean fermented chili paste)

1-2 tsp vegetable oil



Method


Turn fan oven onto 180 degrees.

In a large bowl mix your prefered seasoning ingredients.

Roughly chop the kale, washing it first if necessary, and place in the bowl with the seasoning. Mix the kale into your marinade - use your hands to make sure it’s well and evenly coated, adding a little splash of water if needed.

Put your marinated kale onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Do keep an eye on it though, as the kale sometimes has a tendency to catch (...although the burnt bits are often the crispiest and tastiest!)



Free-style


Feel free to make up your own version of this recipe, depending on what you have in the cupboard. Chuck in any flavours you like! Add all the nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, pastes, oils and sauces you can think of. Go crazy…






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Looking for LASIK?

Lasik was – as in used to be- a fantastic procedure for correcting vision. We believe that SMILE is now even better. Many millions of patients have had successful lasik surgery and enjoy excellent vision. SMILE however is a new iteration of laser vision correction which is less invasive, safer with the same excellent results. The SMILE laser is able to refocus the cornea without cutting a flap. Patients who have had SMILE laser correction have excellent vision but with a shorter period of dryness afterwards and the corneal sensory nerves remain intact and not cut. The cornea is also stronger and not vulnerable to injury after SMILE.

Lasik still has a place for some patients and the surgeon will discuss with you if this option might be appropriate in any particular case.




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The Spectacle Free Zone



Vision is like any biometric measurement, there is a range of normal rather than one single measurement. Google says that the average height of men in 1.7meters. That does not mean that anyone who is taller or shorter is abnormal, there is a range within which most of us are. The range of spectacle free vision is described in the diagram. The numbers are the lenses needed to put the eye into “perfect” focus. Someone whose focus is at point X has a spectacle prescription of -0.50 of myopia and 0.25 of astigmatism. Wearing this weak prescription would theoretically give the person better vision but in practice it’s so weak that nobody would bother wearing such a pair of glasses. Such people regard themselves as spectacle free. Anyone whose spectacle prescription falls in the blue zone would regard themselves as spectacle free and can see the world without glasses just as well as anyone else. They can perform all visual tasks perfectly with no glasses or contacts. You will notice that there is no sharp edge to the zone but rather there is a gradual transition into the zone were glasses are necessary to see clearly. The purpose of laser refractive surgery is to move your vision from the zone where glasses are necessary into the zone of spectacle free vision. We do not need to get you to the very centre of the zone to be successful. This is where the brain comes in.

 Think of good vision as 20% optics (focus) and 80% data processing. 


If the visual cortex gets an image from within the zone it will process it so that it will appear to come from the very centre. That is perfect vision. The software the brain uses to analyse vision is designed to work with eyes that are focused in the spectacle free zone. Evolution demanded this. That’s why we say that glasses, and to a lesser extent contacts, do not solve the problems of ametropia. They just make it survivable. Laser refractive surgery gives you the vision nature intended you to have. Laser vision correction is not a luxury; it’s a release from a handicap, the correction of a blemish.




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The SMILE Laser procedure

On the day of the operation you will arrive at the time given to you. It’s best not to wear eye makeup or to put any drops in the eye. The reception staff will check your details and then you will be shown in to the laser suite where the surgical staff will be. Once ready you will be escorted into the laser room. You will lie down on the laser trolley and the surgeon will move you into position under the laser.

A drop of anaesthetic is placed on your cornea and a clip is placed between your lids to hold them open. The surgeon will be giving verbal instructions during all this time.

You will be asked to stare at blue light to hold your gaze in the correct place. Slowly the laser machine will manoeuvre you into the precise position while you stare at the blue light. Then the laser machine will make contact with your eye with a gentle kiss. When everything is ready the laser starts and approximately 27 seconds later the laser procedure is finished. The surgeon removes the lenticule carved by the laser. Then the exact same procedure is carried out on the other eye.

When all is finished the trolley will be brought back to the rest position and you can sit up and begin to check out your new vision.


 


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Regression

The term regression refers to the possibility that the eye gradually becomes out of focus again and requires glasses. The focus of the eye never remains constant throughout life.

Even patients who do not wear glasses will undergo fluctuations in their focus.

The glasses or contacts you had 5 years ago would be out of date now and will be different from the glasses or contacts you might need in 5 years’ time. However, it is probable that your vision will remain within the spectacle free zone for a very long time and perhaps forever. In the early days of laser corrective surgery regression was not uncommon. The latest lasers seem to have a more stable outcome although by definition very long-term data is not available yet. Nevertheless it appears that with the latest technology enhancements can be carried out many years later if required. 




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