Students Practice Eye Safety at Agriculture Awareness Day

Agriculture Awareness Day

Third Graders sporting their Radians Mirage Small safety glasses.

Agriculture is a key component in North Carolina’s income and workforce, particularly in Greene County.  Here, it is their number one industry.  Cotton, peanuts, tobacco, wheat, corn, soy, sweet potatoes, poultry, dairy and livestock help to make up the farming business that is so critical to the county’s survival.  Despite its importance, it seems at least one organization believes that the county’s youth should be much more aware of all that its top industry encompasses.  Thus, in 2012, The Green County Cooperative Extension had its first Agriculture Awareness Day.

On site at a local farm, about 200 third grade students learned about farm safety, nutrition, livestock, soil, insects, poisonous plants, seeds, water and more.  The event was such a hit, they plan to continue this designated day of awareness each year.

Pictured are the third graders sporting their Radians Mirage Small safety glasses from SafetyGlassesUSA.com.

To learn more about The Green County Cooperative Extension, you may click here:

http://greene.ces.ncsu.edu/about/

The Heart Health and Eye Health Connection

Eye HealthOur bodies give us many external indications of internal conditions. The ways our eyes show the health of our hearts provide one terrific example of this. In celebration of Heart Health Month, let’s explore this connection further as well as consider how keeping eyes healthy contributes to a healthier heart.

High blood pressure and diabetes cause damage to blood vessels throughout the body, including to those in the eyes. For this reason, eye doctors may be able to sight a heart problem by examining the retina during a routine eye exam. So, not only can a regular eye exam lead to early detection of eye diseases such as glaucoma, Harvard Health says it can also lead to early detection of deeper problems such as a variety of heart problems as well as diabetes.

Because only a trained ocular physician can see many indications of the more serious problems, regular, comprehensive eye exams are essential. By age 40, everyone should have a comprehensive eye exam that checks for systemic problems as indicated by the eyes. Those with a family history of eye disease should receive them sooner rather than later.

While some of the more serious diseases can only be seen through eye examination by a trained physician, there are some eye indications that everyone should be aware of an on the lookout for.

What Your Eyes Say About Your Heart also includes signs that anyone can see. Those signs include bloody or bulging eyes, droopy eyelid, rings on the cornea and thickening eyelid. These and many other visual clues can be indications of a slew of more significant problems such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease and hereditary disorders.

Additional connection between eye health and heart health lies with the importance of healthy lifestyle for both heart and eyes. Turns out that what is healthy for the eyes, is healthy for the heart and vice versa. In fact, you can Put Your Eyes On A Diet as well as Exercise Your Eyes and at the same time receive whole-body benefit, including a tremendous benefit for your heart.

So, keeping eyes healthy goes well beyond maintaining and keeping optimal vision. Begin by taking care of your eyes through simple steps such as protecting them from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing quality sunglasses and safety sunglasses. Doing so gives you and your doctor yet another tool for fighting heart disease and heading off potential problems early and enjoying healthy eyes and heart throughout your lifetime.

Put Your Eyes on A Diet

Diet and exerciseEveryone knows that our bodies need exercise and nutritious food in order to be healthy and strong. Well, turns out, our eyes do too.

Research proves that regular aerobic exercise positively impacts the body as a whole, and that includes your eyes. In other words, exercising your heart is Exercising Your Eyes at the same time.

Because eyes require healthy arteries for oxygen and nutrients, exercising to keep the heart healthy significantly benefits the eyes as well. In addition, eye-specific exercises do offer benefit for certain eye conditions.

In the same way that regular exercise leads to healthier eyes, so too does a healthy diet. Let’s explore that connection further.

How is diet and eye disease connected?

The Link Between Diet and Eye Disease is significant, with more than 20 million Americans over age 40 suffering from cataracts and 10 million over age 60 having age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Cataracts often require surgery for removal, and no cure currently exists for AMD.

However, cataracts can possibly be prevented in the first place and AMD kept from worsening through proper diet and nutrition. This Link Between Diet and Eye Disease includes antioxidants to keep waste from building up on the retina to keep AMD from worsening as well as helping to manage the proteins that can cause cataracts.

So, understanding How Diet and Nutrition Protect Aging Eyes can prevent these all-too-common eye diseases is probably in everyone’s best interest since the connection between them seems clear.

A diet plentiful in green leafy vegetables, fish, colorful fruits and vegetables, and fortified cereals goes a long way in providing the necessary nutrients (antioxidants, Lutein, Vitamin A and Vitamin C) for prevention and reduction of eye disease. In contrast, diets full of refined carbohydrates (white rice, bread and pasta) and high in saturated fat and sugar can possibly increase the risk of AMD, cataracts and other diseases.

Should you take supplements specifically for your eyes?

For most people, the answer to this question is “No.” Following a healthy diet, which usually includes some supplementation, and getting plenty of exercise makes taking eye-specific supplements unnecessary for most people.

However, the National Eye Institute’s Age-Related Eye Disease Study says that a supplement containing high doses of vitamin E, beta carotene, zinc and copper may help keep AMD from worsening. Supplementing in this way must be done under the care of a physician since the needed doses would be higher than the recommended daily allowance.

What’s the next step?

Eating healthier and exercising regularly provides the best starting point for most people. Beyond that, learning How Diet and Nutrition Protect Aging Eyes as well as understanding what Foods Keep Your Eyes Healthy can be a terrific second step.

And, of course, regular eye exams along with protecting your eyes from sun damage need to be a part of everyone’s lifelong pursuit of good eye health.