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More to Seeing Than Meets the Eye.

Lifestyle practices and integrative therapies that promote health are also the means for preventing and treating vision problems, according to a book by Edward Kondrot, MD. 70 Essentials to Save Your Sight outlines over 10 avenues for treating and preventing macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems. The treatments include nutrition, detoxification, relaxation, movement, homeopathy, sleep and light therapy, microcurrent stimulation, oxidative therapies, stem cells, and vision therapy. Most of these practices are common aspects of integrative medicine. Kondrot, a board-certified ophthalmologist and certified homeopathic doctor, began investigating integrative practices after homeopathy resolved his own adult-onset asthma. He wrote 10 Essentials to Save Your Sight for patients but also for integrative physicians to help them understand that these treatments significantly affect vision.

Vision is more than being able to identify the letters on a chart in an optometrist's office. Reading an eye chart measures visual acuity, Kondrot explains. People with very good acuity can have difficulty performing everyday tasks that involve visual function such as reading, doing crossword puzzles, and driving. Conversely, many patients experience significant improvement in functional vision even though their ability to read an eye chart changes little. "Functional vision relies a lot on three functions: peripheral vision, scanning ability, and, believe it or not, balance and posture," he explains. Exercise that improves balance and posture (e.g., rebounding on a small trampoline, tai chi, and dance) supports visual function.

Vision therapy, consisting of eye relaxation and focusing exercises, also stabilizes and improves vision. Kondrot adapted exercises from the Bates Method, a century-old program developed by ophthalmologist William Bates (b. 1860), to relax and reeducate the eyes. Kondrot's vision therapy techniques include acupressure around the bony eye orbit, long standing swing (swinging arms and upper body from one side to the other), palming (resting the eyes in darkness by covering them with palms of the hands), slow and rapid blinking, and sunning (exposing closed eyes to sun for 10 minutes or less). Sunlight has the added benefit of supporting circadian rhythm, good sleep, and melatonin production. Melatonin has antioxidant properties and protects the retina. In addition to these exercises, Kondrot discusses visual therapy devices such as the FDA-approved Eyeport, developed by Dr. Jacob Liberman, and professional vision therapy ( Vision therapy has helped people with macular degeneration and glaucoma as well as those with learning disorders and traumatic brain injuries.

Some therapies in the book, such as microcurrent treatment, require knowledgeable professionals. Frequency specific microcurrent (FSM) treatment uses specific frequencies of very low electrical current to quicken healing. Dr. Albert Abrams in the early 1900s observed that body tissues and organs have specific and unique frequencies. Carolyn McMakin, DC, has tested his observations, studying hundreds of frequencies between .01 to 999 Hz. Modern-day frequency specific microcurrent is the result. In FSM, practitioners apply the specific frequency that harmonizes and supports a tissue. Kondrot explains that pathologies also respond to frequencies. Disharmonious frequencies can weaken pathologies. He gives the example of a hemorrhage in the eye's macula. The disharmonious frequency for a hemorrhage is 18 Hz, and the harmonious frequency for the macula is 137 Hz. So a macular hemorrhage would be treated with 18 Hz and 137 Hz. In his practice, Kondrot has found that applying two specific frequencies during treatment has increased the number of patients who respond to microcurrent stimulation - from 60% to over 80%.

The foundation for all therapy is nutrition. "Forget about microcurrent therapy, homeopathy, vision therapy, acupuncture, and the other techniques," says Kondrot. "Unless you have a good nutritional foundation, no other therapy is going to be effective." Kondrot advocates a 70/30 diet, primarily consisting of organic, raw (or dehydrated at low temperature) food, with three to five times more vegetables than fruit. Organic food has higher nutrient content and lower pesticide and heavy metal content than conventionally grown food; and, unlike food cooked at temperatures over 115 [degrees]F, raw or dehydrated food retains active plant enzymes. Kondrot also recommends supplementation with the Myers cocktail (Mg, Ca, B12, B5, B6, B complex, 0 to address basic nutrient deficiencies. Other important eye nutrients include taurine for retinal function, zinc, and B12. Zinc and B12 deficiencies have been linked to macular degeneration. Kondrot concurs with Dr. Robert Rowen and Brian Peskin by recommending parent oils: vegetable oil sources of omega-6 found in high-linolenic safflower oil, evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seed oil, and coconut oil. Unlike the fatty acids found in fish oil, the body can convert parent oils into omega-3 and omega-6 as needed.

10 Essentials to Save Your Sight is a crash course in integrative ophthalmology and has much to offer. As Rowen says in the book's foreword, "Dr. Kondrot provides an outstanding template for prevention of disease and restoration of health, not just for your eyes but also for your whole body."

10 Essentials to Save Your Sight, by Edward C. Kondrot, MD Advantage Media Group; Charleston, South Carolina; [c] 2012; softbound; $24.95; 325 pp.

"We cannot simply intervene and 'fix' an eye disease without changing the environment that produced it."

Edward C. Kondrot, MD
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Klotter, Jule
Publication:Townsend Letter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 29, 2014
Previous Article:Letter to the Editor.
Next Article:The Art of Healing.

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