About the Author
Jeffrey Anshel, OD received his Bachelor of Science in Visual Science and his Doctorate of Optometry from the Illinois College of Optometry. While in the US Navy, he established the Navy’s first vision therapy center located in San Diego, California. Upon his return to civilian life, Dr. Anshel went into private practice, offering his patients alternative therapies as part of their vision care. Today, in addition to his practice, Dr. Anshel is president of Corporate Vision Consulting and is the founder and president of the Ocular Nutrition Society.He is also the best-selling author of Smart Medicine for Your Eyes.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
You may have never thought about how easy it is for you to read the words on this
page. That’s because your eyes are probably doing the job pretty well. In fact, you may be
one of the 42 percent of Americans who don’t wear corrective lenses. If so, congratulations!
However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a vision-related problem. And let me ask you a
question: Are you one of the 90 million Americans who are overdue for an eye examination?
Whatever your particular situation may be, consider the fact that over 80 percent of what
you learn comes in through your eyes. That says a lot about the importance of good vision.
The act of seeing can seem automatic, so taking our eyes for granted is an easy thing to
do. We are born with two eyes that, for the most part, are fully functional at birth. However,
the complex function of vision, which involves the processing and understanding of
visual input, also requires learning. This learning happens over the first decade of life, and if
it doesn’t occur, a child’s development can be impaired. Humans are visually directed creatures;
our eyes are our most important connection to our world.
Vision problems are often not painful and are usually slow to develop. Many of the problems
that occur are preventable, not just by reading letters on an eye doctor’s chart once
per year or eating a lot of carrots, but by taking a little extra time to learn about the eyes
and how they work. A vision problem may start with occasional blurriness or a dull head -
ache after reading for a short period of time. Or you may have trouble seeing distant objects
such as road signs at night. Your eyes may burn a little bit or feel dry occasionally. Or perhaps
you have noticed recently in the mirror that your eyes look different than they used to. Fortunately,
even if something does go wrong, you can usually correct the problem if you act
quickly. But why wait until there is a problem? There is such a thing as preventive eye care,
and it’s easier than you may think.
This book, by itself, will not give you the knowledge or the ability to cure all eye problems
or allow you to throw away your glasses. However, it will teach you about your eyes and
how to interpret the messages they send. It may therefore help to keep you from being
stuck behind glasses for the rest of your life―or at least from needing a stronger prescription
every year. In addition, this guide will show you how to prevent serious eye damage and
loss of vision. It is a lot easier to prevent eyeproblems than to reverse changes that have already
Do you already use corrective lenses? If you wear glasses, you should learn all you can
about them. And you might as well get glasses that enhance, rather than detract from, your
appearance. In this book, I offer help concerning both of those tasks. Contact lenses are especially
complicated and should be treated more like the medical devices that they are
rather than as cosmetics. This is another subject I discuss, from options concerning the various
types of contacts to proper care of your lenses.
Whether you wear corrective lenses or not, you should have enough knowledge about vision
to know when to see an eye doctor and what kind of eye doctor to see. Studies continue
to show that many people don’t know if their eyecare professional is an optometrist, an
optician, or an ophthalmologist. I define all of these terms for you in the coming pages.
The purpose of this book is to introduce you to the eyes and visual system, give you
basic information on the most common eye problems, provide an overview of what is
available in traditional and alternative treatments
for them, and guide you in finding more information. Part One discusses the various elements
of eye care. Included are sections on the anatomy and physiology of the visual system,
the development of vision, how to find the right eyecare professional for your needs, and
the effects of nutrition on vision. Also offered are introductions to herbal therapy and homeopathy,
as these approaches can be helpful in maintaining and improving eye health. Ultimately,
Part One serves as the foundation for the subsequent material presented in the book.
Part Two provides information on problems that commonly afflict the eyes. It begins
with basic first aid information for your eyes, and includes an important section on the
ocular side effects of certain common medications.
Next, there is a helpful “TroubleshootingGuide” for quick reference; it consists of a list
of symptoms and identifies the conditions thatmight be causing them. Then, eye disorders are
discussed in alphabetical order. Each entrystarts with a description of the problem, its
causes, and how to identify the signs andsymptoms. Treatment options follow, including
recommendations for conventional treatments, nutritional supplementation, herbal treatments,
and homeopathic approaches. Many of the entries also have a section on self-treatment options.
Such sections detail the most commonly helpful natural treatments. Last, general tips
are offered for preventing the disorder or easing the symptoms.
Part Three further explains a number of thetreatment procedures mentioned in Part Two.
Acupuncture and acupressure, eyeglasses and contact lenses, eye surgeries, and vision therapy
are among the topics explored at length. When appropriate, helpful illustrations are included.
The information in Part Three will aid you in conducting a more thorough and educated discussion with youreye doctor.Equally important are the appendices at the back of this book. There is a helpful glossary,
a directory that lists numerous organizations related to eye care and eye health, and a
section that recommends suppliers so that you can have a jump-start on purchasing reputable, effective eye
The format of this book is simple, yet the facts presented are extremely significant and
wide-ranging. The information is up-to-date and based on available research, my experiences,
and common sense. This book should answer your most common questions about
your eyes and the way you see. My hope is that it will open your eyes to the world of vision
and teach you about your eyes so that you can talk intelligently with your doctor about your
vision problems. I also hope to dispel some myths about what’s good for your eyes and
what isn’t. Should you have any questions about a condition or the appropriate treatment,
contact an eyecare professional. In the meantime, here’s looking at you!