Book Review: Natural Eye Care

A review of a new, excellent desktop reference for integrative eye care

By Jen Green, ND, FABNO

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Book Reviewed

Grossman M, Edson M. Natural Eye Care: Your Guide to Healthy Vision and Healing. 2nd ed. Kelly K, Miller J, eds. New Paltz, NY: Natural Eye Care, Inc; 2018.

Review

Natural Eye Care: Your Guide to Healthy Vision and Healing by Marc Grossman, OD, LAc and Michael Edson, MS, LAc is a fabulous clinical resource for how to treat eye conditions in an integrative fashion. Designed for integrative practitioners (or very curious and medical-savvy patients), it summarizes the pertinent clinical information for managing both common and rare eye conditions—briefly reviewing pathology, diagnosis, lab testing, symptoms to monitor, conventional treatment options, and complementary approaches. When there is evidence for a given treatment, references are included and precise dosing and expected outcomes are given.

Although empirical strategies are mixed in with evidence-informed strategies, Dr Grossman also draws upon his almost 40 years of practice as a holistic optometrist.

The book is also surprisingly eclectic, including recommendations ranging from physical medicine/microcurrent stimulation, to nutrition, to the most common Chinese formulas for a particular condition, to homeopathic drops, earthing, and nutritional supplements. Although empirical strategies are mixed in with evidence-informed strategies, Dr Grossman also draws upon his almost 40 years of practice as a holistic optometrist. The book distills both his clinical experience and accumulated research into this gem of a book.

Some fun facts from the book: almost 80% of American adults report using digital devices for more than 2 hours per day, with nearly 67% using 2 or more devices simultaneously and 59% reporting eye strain;1 in a pilot study, melatonin 3 mg for 6 months helped stabilize macular degeneration;2 lutein, in addition to protecting the retina and lens from sunlight damage, also reduces glare;3 castor oil can be used topically for blepharitis (empirical plus animal study);4 in a randomized controlled trial, lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin improved macular pigment density;5 and bags under the eyes from reading Grossman’s wonderful book too late into the night can be treated with rosemary tea compresses, cucumber slices, acupressure, or a really good nap!

For the busy clinician, Natural Eye Care is an excellent desktop reference for integrative eye care. It is a wonderful contribution to the field, and a highly efficient clinical resource.

About the Author

Jen Green, ND, FABNO, was born in Toronto, received her arts & science degree from McMaster University, and graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2000. Green founded the Naturopathic Department at Beaumont Hospitals in 2008 and served as the department head for 5 years. Green was co-investigator in a trial on Essiac in breast cancer and wrote a systematic review on the use of probiotics in children. Green's publications include chapters in the book My Breasts, My Choice, the review Identifying & Treating Metabolic Syndrome in Breast Cancer, as well as articles in the Journal of Complementary & Integrative Medicine and Townsend Letters.

References

  1. The Vision Council. Digital eye strain. www.thevisioncouncil.org/content/digital-eye-strain. Published 2019. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  2. Yi C, Pan X, Yan H, Guo M, Pierpaoli W. Effects of melatonin in age-related macular degeneration. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005;1057:384-392.
  3. Jia YP, Sun L, Yu HS, et al. The pharmacological effects of lutein and zeaxanthin on visual disorders and cognition diseases. Molecules. 2017;22(4). pii: E610.
  4. Vieira C, Fetzer S, Sauer SK, et al. Pro- and anti-inflammatory actions of ricinoleic acid: similarities and differences with capsaicin. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2001;364(2):87-95.
  5. Ma L, Liu R, Du JH, Liu T, Wu SS, Liu XH. Lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin supplementation associated with macular pigment optical density. Nutrients. 2016;8(7). pii: E426.