Several months ago, Bausch and Lomb recalled their multipurpose contact lens solution ReNu with MoistureLoc after it was connected to eye infections caused by the fusarium fungus.
Researchers had warned of the risks of solutions such as ReNu as many as nine years ago, but manufacturers of contact lens cleaners, particularly Bausch and Lomb, downplayed the concerns.
In the late '90s, a study showed that Bausch and Lomb's ReNu MultiPlus did not kill potentially dangerous bacteria as well as other brands. Bausch and Lomb contested the research, pointing to research they had conducted themselves that contradicted the study's results.
Some researchers are now worried that some solution brands may damage the surface of the eye, in a process called corneal staining. Studies have also shown that multipurpose solutions can increase the binding of bacteria to the cells of the cornea. And a 2005 study found that lenses left soaking in ReNu with MoistureLoc could end up "covered with what appeared to be fungus."The FDA has promised to re-evaluate its testing methods for contact lens solutions.
So now contact lens wearers -- in addition to all of the daily hassles of wearing contact lenses, and all of the costs (from solutions to replacement contacts to check-ups) -- also have to worry about bacterial infections and potential eye damage from the solutions.
Of all the five senses, most people would least want to lose their sight. Eyes provide not only a window to the world, but also a means to discovering new things.
There are, however, ways to keep your eyesight without recourse to expensive -- and sometimes dangerous -- solutions like contact lenses and glasses.
A fat found in fish called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may help protect and promote healthy retinal function. DHA is concentrated in the eye's retina and has been found to be particularly useful in preventing macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness.
I don't recommend eating fish due to the concerns of mercury and other toxins that have been found in fish from oceans, lakes and streams and farm-raised fish. One of your best choices is a DHA-rich fish or krill oil.
Get Plenty of Lutein
Lutein is a carotenoid found in vegetables and fruits. While beta-carotene, another carotenoid, is commonly thought of as important for vision health, lutein may be even more important.
Lutein, which is found in particularly large quantities in green, leafy vegetables, acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from free radical damage. If you eat a healthy diet, you should receive more than enough lutein from the food you eat. Some excellent sources of lutein include kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts and egg yolks, particularly raw egg yolks.
Egg yolks also have zeaxanthin, another carotenoid, in an equal amount to lutein. Zeaxanthin is likely to be equally as effective as lutein in protecting eyesight.
It is important to note that lutein is an oil-soluble nutrient, and if you merely consume the above vegetables without some oil or butter you can't absorb the lutein.
Eat Dark-Colored Berries
Not only do berries taste great, but also the compounds that give them their dark color are great for your health. The European blueberry, bilberry, is known to prevent and even reverse macular degeneration, and bioflavonoids from other dark-colored berries including blueberries, cranberries and others will also be beneficial.
They work by strengthening the capillaries that carry nutrients to eye muscles and nerves.
Avoid Trans Fat
A diet high in trans fat appears to contribute to macular degeneration. Trans fat may interfere with omega-3 fats in your body, which are extremely important for your eye health. Trans fat is found in many processed foods and baked goods, including margarine, shortening, fried foods like french fries, fried chicken and doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers.
How You Can Toss Out Your Contacts or Glasses for Good
In spite of taking all of the above steps, about eight years ago I still started noticing a progressive worsening of my eyesight. After many years of searching for a way to correct the problem naturally, Dr. Larry Clapp told me about an eyesight teacher in California. This teacher taught me the important visual habits (all covered in the Secrets of Regaining Your Vision Naturally Program) that helped restore my eyesight and helped me read without the use of glasses.
I learned the techniques of pioneering medical doctor and ophthalmologist Dr. William Bates, who dedicated his life to learning why people develop problems with their eyesight.
I was so impressed by my own results and the research my team and I did on the history and success of the Bates Method that I decided to offer this powerful natural vision improvement training to Mercola.com readers (at a far more affordable rate than I paid for it, as you will see).
Secrets of Regaining Your Vision Naturally Program requires a relatively low commitment of time on your part, involves no "eye exercises," and has already helped many tens of thousands of other people improve their vision (check out What Others Have to Say when you click to the page above).
You can fix your vision forever for about the cost of just one eye doctor appointment and new glasses. I strongly encourage you to learn more about the Secrets of Regaining Your Vision Naturally Program now.