Keeping an Eye Out
When was your last eye exam? Not only do routine exams help detect early signs of vision loss, but they can also prevent the development of certain eye diseases. If you’re experiencing one (or more) of these four eye symptoms, it might be time to give your ophthalmologist a call.
Blurred Vision Blurred vision can occur in one or both eyes, and it can be a frequent, swift occurrence or last for longer periods of time. While blurred vision is often a symptom of glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it may also suggest complications outside the eye – specifically diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Red Eye Colds or conjunctivitis (pink eye) are minor, self-healing infections that can cause both eyes to turn red. More severe, one red eye is often a sign of deeper inflammation, specifically uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye) or scleritis (inflammation of the white outer coating of the eye).
Floaters Eye floaters, or seeing spots, tend to develop with age, but they can also indicate a more serious problem: a detached retina. Without treatment, a detached retina may ultimately result in blindness.
Eye Pain It’s important to first note the location of your pain, as it can occur either on the eye’s surface (burning, itching, shooting pain) or in the eye’s deeper structures (aching or throbbing). Common causes are blocked tear ducts, corneal abrasions, inflammation, and injury, to name a few. Immediate medical attention is recommended if pain is accompanied by swelling, nausea or vomiting, or bleeding.
Getting Enough Magnesium?
Magnesium is an impressive mineral. In addition to bone and immune system support and blood sugar regulation, magnesium is responsible for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body! Women need 310-360 milligrams of magnesium a day, depending on age. Consuming foods high in magnesium, like leafy green vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, yogurt, bananas, and dark chocolate, can help you meet that requirement. Experts recommend including one of these food sources with every meal.
Due, in part, to poor diet, many women are living with an undiagnosed magnesium deficiency. Signs that you aren’t getting enough magnesium might include numbness and tingling, muscle cramps, chronic fatigue, and anxiety or depression. Magnesium deficiencies have also been linked to heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis. Severe magnesium deficiencies, however, are rare; older adults, and those who suffer from kidney disease or Chrohn’s disease, are most at risk.
The bottom line: If you’re feeling lethargic and believe a magnesium deficiency may be to blame, consult with your doctor about increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods. You also may want to consider avoiding refined sugars, which can deplete magnesium in the body.