See and Hear the World
Found in spinach, leafy green vegetables and corn, lutein seems to improve the health of your eyes by preventing oxidative damage to your retina. You can also take it in supplement format 1,000 micrograms twice a day.
Eggs, garlic, avocados, asparagus, and onions have glutathione, which has been shown to be effective for preventing cataracts.
The Eye Cocktail
A large study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found that certain vitamins, when taken together, can help prevent vision loss for those who have age-related macular degeneration. (It wasn't studied to show preventive powers for those who don't have the disease.)
The study found that those people who already had wet macular degeneration had a more than 25 percent reduction in their risk of vision loss if they took 500 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 international units of vitamin E, 15 milligrams of beta-carotene (yes, carrots are good for your eyes), 80 milligrams of zinc and 2 milligrams of copper every day in divided doses. P.S. We think that a lower dose of 30 milligrams of zinc is safer for longer periods of time.
Protect your eyes from the sun with the perfect shades.
Get Complete Protection
Find glasses that filter out UV-A and UV-B rays (they don't have to be expensive). Look for a label that specifically states they offer 99 or 100 percent UV protection. An eye-care pro can test them if you're unsure.
Made in the Shade
Sunglasses should be dark enough to reduce glare, but not dark enough to distort colors (which could affect the recognition of traffic signals). Tint is a matter of personal preference.
People with contacts made with UV protection should still wear sunglasses.
Hide Under a Hat
Since UV rays can still enter from the sides and top of sunglasses, it's smart to wear a hat with a three-inch brim to help block light.
Now what about those ears of yours?
Trust Your Partner
Here's the thing about hearing loss: How do you know you can't hear something if you don't know what you're missing? So if your partner tells you that your ears seem clogged, resist the temptation to fight back with, "Yeah, and so are your pores." It may feel like nagging at the time, but your partner's frustration with repeatedly repeating is very often the first sign that you should have a medical checkup.
Get the Wax Out
You probably grew up thinking cotton swabs were the ultimate wax removers. But you've heard it before (assuming you're not suffering from hearing loss): Don't stick any spear-like objects (aka Q-Tips) into your ear, as they can perforate your ear drum. Jaw movement naturally forces your ear canal to move and dislodge wax (though we don't suggest a taffy diet to do so). If you experience buildup, you can remove the wax with an over-the-counter softener like glycerine. Or put mineral oil in your ears, let it sits for 60 minutes, then gently flush with saline warmed to body temperature, or just let it fall out on a piece of cotton.
You can also see a doctor, who may try to remove it through a vacuum-like device, which is safe if done by an experienced practitioner. The vacuum technique is much safer than a method that used to be commonly used: flushing the ears out with water and high pressure. The water, if not the right temperature, can cause dizziness, and the high-pressure flooding can damage the drum.
Eat for Your Ears
It appears that two substancesfolate and phytochemicalsmight have some auditory advantages. Taking 800 micrograms of folate (which is also found in leafy green food) has been shown to slow the loss of high-frequency sounds. Deficiencies in folate and vitamin B12 might affect both the nervous and the vascular system associated with hearing. Hearing also benefits from phytochemicals, so the stronger the color of the fruit, the better. That means it contains high levels of these protective substances.
Use Headphones and Earplugs
In noisy situationsdoing yard work with power tools or maybe dinner with the extended familyit's worth using noise-cancellation headphones, which emit energy in a frequency that we can't hear. The sound waves they create have the same amplitude but opposite polarity as the original sound; they combine with the external wave and effectively cancel it out so there's no sound at all.
Models available in stores typically cancel lower-frequency noises, while the ear cups themselves protect you from high-frequency noises. (By the way, there's no evidence to suggest that these devices cause any damage of their own.) If you are exposed to loud noises that come and gosirens, trucks, trafficcover your ears. And bring earplugs to weddings and bar mitzvahs.
Turn your health around with Dr. Oz's 14-day plan!