BY: LINDA SECHRIST
How Integrative Doctors See Into Whole-Body Health
To poets, the eyes have long been known as windows to the soul. Systemically trained ophthalmologists, optometrists and functional medicine doctors see these organs as a potential indicator of high blood pressure, diabetes, stress-related effects and nutritional deficiencies, as well as sites for potential glaucoma and macular degeneration.
The connection between overall health and eye health is rarely addressed during conventional eye exams, which are based on standard protocols for prescribing eyeglasses, drugs or surgery. Conventionally trained optometrists and ophthalmologists, lacking education in nutrition and alternative approaches, treat the eyes as isolated organs. In contrast, systemically oriented, holistic eye experts treat them as integrated parts of the whole body.
Eye doctors like Marc R. Grossman, doctor of optometry, a co-founder of Natural Eye Care, Inc., of New Paltz, New York, and Edward C. Kondrot, a medical doctor and founder of the Healing the Eye & Wellness Center, in Fort Myers, Florida, take such a preventive and integrative approach. They recommend good whole foods nutrition, supplemented with antioxidants and plant-based formulations of omega-6 and omega-3 oils, together with adequate sleep and exercise. Key complementary treatments can be effective in improving sight and reversing some conditions.
Grossman, also a licensed acupuncturist, explains in his book Greater Vision: A Comprehensive Program for Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Clarity how he incorporates the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of vision into his philosophy of eye care. At Somers Eye Center, in Somers, New York, he uses a full range of mind-body therapies, combined with conventional methods to address dry eye syndrome, nearsightedness, farsightedness, macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. READ MORE