Dry eyes and cycling

 

Solving ‘eyes burnt out of my head in the wind’ cycling issues.

DRY EYES. I suffer with my eyes; due to an incomplete blink which means that I don’t pull tears across my eye very well they get dry. I wear my glasses a lot but that doesn’t work with training!. Despite specialist contact lenses my eyes were getting burnt out of my head outdoor cycling. My Rudi project just weren’t protecting me and the wind felt like it was hitting me from above and the side of the lense despite them being large on my face. Half way in to a cycle my contact lenses would feel stuck into my eye and no matter how many times I would blink, they just would not get comfortable.

Cycling should be fun, and dry eyes is not fun, nor pleasant. Furthermore dryness on the cornea can lead to damage and eye issues and so should be addressed.

If dry eyes are a problem for you; here are the results of some research.

1. Eye drops.

Hylo Forte/ Hyco San Forte are a thick DROP that is very soothing for the eyes and suitable while wearing lenses. They are in my opinion the best drop out there for dry eyes. They also last longer than the standard 28 days and the dropped bottle can easily be tossed into your pocket.

The Xailin night was highly recommended as a treatment on dry eye forums and I let recommendations override a pharmacist analysis of the ingredients. They are pretty crap to be honest; just paraffin. [ Ingredients White soft paraffin, white mineral oil, lanolin alcohols ]. They left my eyes very sticky the following morning and blurry to a point of distraction. I am not a fan of petroleum-based products so this won’t be getting much use.

The Vita-Pos ointment is a night-time remedy also which helps HEAL the eye due to its vitamin A content. It is better than the Xailin night yet still based on paraffin ingredients (most of the ointments are to be honest); so if i need a heavy duty night time healer then I don’t have many options.

[ ingredients: VitA-POS is a sterile, preservative free, vitamin A eye ointment that also contains liquid paraffin, light liquid paraffin, wool fat and white soft paraffin. It is used for moderate to severe dry eye and mostly recommended for night-time use.]

So this product gets a mention because of the vitamin A, which helps heal the eye; but it will leave you with sticky blurry eyes (not as bad as the Xailin, and I guess it doesn’t matter majorly as you will be asleep; but I wouldn’t put them in the night before a race just in case you wake a bit bleary eyed).

2. Nutrition

Antioxidants, omega 3, plant oils and well a super nutrient dense diet as we work on in the clinic will help protect your eyes from UV radiation and also support moisture, tears and healing. Good nutrition underpins everything when it comes to sport! I also tend to add Vaccinium to herbal preparations for athletes to support antioxidant intake;along with other super nourishing herbs. Vaccinium is especially good for the eyes; but alone, for me it wasn’t sufficient.

3. Wind blocking glasses.

I spent a lot of time researching glasses. There was a good article about this here: http://www.active.com/…/windless-eyewear-the-next-innovatio…

The recommended Rudy project glasses didn’t look any better than what I already have (which I LOVE for running), so I settled on the panoptx range by 7eye. Here are some photos of my Cape glasses.

How did they feel?

To be honest I felt like toad of toad hall with goggles because I am used to only a clear frame in front of my eyes while training.

In  general I am not a fan of anything dark around my eyes and I am quite fussy about this. So this took a little bit of getting used to. BUT… in summary:

  • The brown contrast lens is so clear in Irish skies, like amazingly clear. I decided to try these instead of the grey contrast lens and I wouldn’t go back to the grey unless racing in very bright conditions. The brown give much better clarity.
  • The glasses are comfortable and field of vision ahead on the Tri bars is excellent and looking to the side and over your back is ‘good’.
  • The glasses do block the wind and well, rain, given I got a blasting today.
  • They do not fog up.

So yes they are good, but I  will probably race in the old pair of wrap around sunnies I have risen from the dead that seem to do a better job than the Rudy project in wind and have full clear vision.I just don’t want anything in my way not even a frame when racing; and that’s just me! I will continue to run with the Rudy project sunglasses.

Knowing that I can now train in comfort without harming my eyes is very comforting and makes it more likely that I will enjoy my longer training rides.

Another not discussed option is a helmet with built-in lens/ visor…. i don’t know if this will block all wind as I feel the smallest puff on my eyes coming from all directions around the helmet. I didn’t want to invest in a new helmet. Saying this athletes with the built-in visor LOVE this.

Hope this helps.

Love,

Andrea

PS I purchased from here in the UK. the glasses were good value in my opinion and I do recommend them. They allow you to return them if they do not fit correctly and you are unhappy.

Nutrition advice and resources for triathletes and endurance athletes

Hi folks,

I would like to point you in the direction of this fantastic resource for you all to support you on your journey with food such that you not only become a healthier but also more metabolically efficient athlete in accordance with the principles of Metabolic Efficiency™.

www.metabolicefficiency.org

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I am a certified Level I Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialist (METS I-HMP) having trained under Dina in Colorado last year. I wrote more about this here on my Kona nutrition blog.

I am not one for reinventing the wheel, if there are resources to help improve your food choices and cooking skills in addition to the resources and education that I provide you with then I am all for it! Bob Seebohar and his team have done just that for you on their website.

This means that my primary role is to be your health educator, advisor, interpreter, and supporter. I evaluate your health in the context of your life and training, I interpret your training and physiological, functional and medical tests into meaningful and practical advice, I support you on a journey from A – where we are to Z – your race goals.

Every athlete is different in respect to their need for and tolerance to carbohydrates and their ability to oxidise fat as a fuel across the various exercise intensities.

 

It is all good and well to read about low carbohydrate (availability) training and fat adaptation, and high carbohydrate sessions, nutrition periodisation, preparation phase nutrition versus race season, fasted training and so on. But how do you get this right? Without falling ill to coughs and colds, injury niggles, muscle or strength loss, poor recovery or mid to end of season fatigue?

 

Well this is my job; to guide you through it and achieve your best results. The goal is optimal body composition, strong health, an efficient and flexible metabolism such that you are an efficient fat oxidiser and glycogen sparer across all  intensities and yet are still an efficient carbohydrate oxidiser at race intensities.

It is not just about diet; that is the easy bit – there are a gazillion diet plans out there and yet still so many over-weight, under-performing, over-fatigued and confused athletes.

I trouble shoot nutrition problems, health issues, fatigue, recovery or injury concerns and well take the general and most up to date science and make it relevant and applicable to you as an individual. I should make life easier for you, and nutrition more specific for you. Cut through the bullshit so to speak.

I am more than a nutritional therapist; I also have experience as a trained pharmacist since 1998 and am trained in functional medicine, herbal medicine, and have areas of interest in food, holistic health, hard core sports and health science, energy healing and spiritual mind-body connection, herbs and aromatherapy, chronic fatigue, complex heath issues, gastrointestinal issues, female health problems, hormones and adrenal and thyroid problems. I use ALL these skills when needed.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Andrea

 

 

Sports Nutrition Clinic Services

Hi healthy peeps,

I recorded a quick video blog earlier today to let you know a little bit more about my approach for athletes in the clinic. Mostly because there isn’t really an adequate title to cover what I do and provide to athlete clients.

Firstly my qualifications; I am a pharmacist, Nutritional Therapist, and Senior Associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine.

This means that I have trained in pharmacy and health care, functional medicine and functional and medical diagnostics, nutrition and sports nutrition, and also have been gifted a high level of sensitivity to the energy of people and what is going on in their bodies.

Science and a little bit more!

Some call this being psychic, medically intuitive, an energy healer and so on. I just see it as a nice way to help you even more because I sense what you and your body need on a day-to-day basis. This can come in handy when assisting you reach your goals! I don’t have a crystal ball, I don’t want to see anyone’s future; I simply sense what you need in the moment that I am with you or before I meet you which can be interesting.

It can be as simple as just saying hey I think your body will benefit from a probiotic in the month before your race, and then all the facts will point to this. Or it will give me a sense of what is the most immediate concern for you when the paper and science will tell us we need to do fifty things; sometimes it is best to keep it simple and go on what the body needs in that moment… and then work from there.

Something that this does give me is a knack for feeling your energy, and the state of health within the muscles and what you need to do to assist their recovery; so if you are open to it and I sense it is needed I may suggest some energy sessions, a go on the PEMF machine, some healing aromatherapy oils (I use Vibrant Blue oils; here is a nice blog on how oils work and Panaway by Young Living oils is a favourite for those with sore or tired muscles) or some other helpful strategies.

Secondly what I really do?

Well think of me as your support team; regarding diet, nutrition, explaining the ins and outs of health and sports supplements (IF needed and how to determine what is worth your while), your functional health and the monitoring of this, your energy and rest-recovery balance, etc.

Basically I sort of act as that support system that provides more than just nutrition. I prefer to see nutrition as just one of the tools we use as more often that not all you require here is guidance (most athletes and active person know what to eat; and if they aren’t then this is where we must focus!).

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Fuelling your best performance….

Endurance, Triathlon, and Ironman Functional Nutrition Mentorship Programme

Hi all,

I just wanted to announce that over the coming months I will be rolling out a mentorship programme for a select few serious endurance athletes. Places will be limited so if you are interested watch this space or email me to reserve your place (andreacullenhealthsolutions@gmail.com).

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Are you a triathlete, ironman, endurance runner, cyclist, swimmer, rower or adventure racer? Are you interested in taking your training and genetics to the next level? Are you SERIOUSLY committed to achieving your sporting goals?

How bad do you want it?

Will you invest in you?

Are you committed to achieving excellence?

How-bad-do-you-want-it

Are you prepared to work hard to achieve your goals?

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Introducing the BodyStat 1500 MDD

I am so excited to introduce a fabulous piece of modern hospital and research quality technology to the new clinic in Castletroy.

The BodyStat 1500 MDD

I did a lot of research comparing this system against the Tanita brand and although it cost me a LOT more than systems such as the Tanita ironman or Tanita SC-240MA which I was looking at, or more simple devices that have you stand and hold I couldn’t ignore that that these devices are not as accurate or reliable and an aim for my clinic (and myself personally) is honesty and integrity and gold standard when possible; hence my investment.

Dual frequency Bioelectrical Impedance Analysers (BIA) such as the BodyStat 1500 MDD have been shown in clinical settings to be reliable and comparable to the gold standard DEXA test (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry now known as DXA) and a whole lot more practical (have you ever seen a DXA scanner!).

Ideal-Body-Fat-Percentage-Chart1

I am currently doing a lot of research into the applications of all the information for elite and professional athletes as well as us Joe soaps so I will have a more extensive blog up in the future; suffice to say it is exciting when knowledge is added to all the data provided by the test.

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PEMF an intro….

Hi folks,

I just wanted to add a short blog to provide you with further links to information about the superb PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic wave field) therapy device that I have been using for healing energy treatment with clients for the past number of years.

Not only do I have this superb device but I also added an integrated sound-light relaxation system to the device. This is called the iSLRS; to read more about this system please see here:

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After seeing these devices at a top functional medicine seminar in San Diego in 2013 I set about doing further research and some saving as many of the units are $$$. I learnt along the way that this technology originates in Europe with many many years of research. And also most importantly that with these frequencies more is not specifically better; it is indeed a case of less is more. The ideal frequencies being those not generally felt during a session.

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I was very impressed by the IMRS 2000 device and so have invested in this for all my patients to benefit from in the clinic.

The healing energies from this device assist the body in healing where imbalances are be they emotional, physiological, pathophysiological or pathological. The pulsed magnetic frequencies assist in the healing and restoration of balance in the various organs and tissues. How long this can take and how significant the healing depends on the extent of the cellular imbalance/ injury, the level to which you support the healing journey with nutrition and other strategies and the amount of committment that you can make to PEMF sessions.

Setting a healing timeline, by Dr Pawluk  

imrs

Patients attending to see me; time and health permitting will get to enjoy a treatment as part of their appointment. Here is a photo of the bed in my clinic (on the right facing the window); wouldn’t you just love to fall asleep here! And also some photos of a client getting set up for a session. The finger device measures the heart rate (heart rate variability) and feeds back to the machine so that it can customise the frequencies of the treatment as it works through an 8 minute cycle according to the organ clocks and individual HRV according to feedback from finger monitor.

This device has many effects to mitigate the chronic and acute effects that stress has on the body read more here:

 

If you click the link here you can read more about this system which the company called iMORE – in short:

The iMRS Wellness system now includes the iMORE (Interactive MOnitoring and Regulation System). The iMORE uses Heart Rate Variability (HRV) as a bio- feedback loop to automatically adjust the intensity of the system. This is like putting the iMRS mat on autopilot, as it will intelligently adjust to what the user needs.

Over time, the iMORE technology (in combination with the iMRS applications) is able to train and improve your personal HRV by creating homeostasis in the body. HRV monitors the balance and ability of the Autonomic Nervous System to react to changes in the environment. It’s not a measure of heart rate, but rather the health of the central nervous system of the individual.

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Practical advice for Indoor Swimmers

Do you frequently swim train indoors?

Here are some tips to limit the adverse effects of chlorine on your skin and sinuses.

Daniel Bell (AUS) action reflections Swimming 2000 Sydney PG

Do you suffer the chlorine?

The chlorine in swimming pools can be a real hazard to sanity and a trouble maker to health. ‘Issues’ can run from the itchy scratchies from dry and chlorine irritated skin and bothered sinuses to chlorine allergy, chronic sinus problems, asthma, breathing problems, or chest infections.

For some chlorine, a halogen on the periodic table, can have a negative impact on iodine status and thyroid health. This is a more serious topic that I will not be discussing in this post. If you are concerned please private email me.

If you are pregnant, planning to be pregnant, or suffering with thyroid or chronic health problems it may be best to discuss with a health practitioner ‘in the know’ the impact that chlorine may potentially have on your health.

I don’t recommend ‘just taking’ iodine as it is important to determine your need and optimise your dose and also to determine other individual and specific needs. I will aim to get a blog up on this topic and protecting yourself from the negative effects of chlorine on health and thyroid specifically.

It is always best when you can to get out swimming in the open waters.

However be warned that some inland waterways also come with bacterial, algal, or agricultural effluent problems or worse still sewage issues. KNOW where you are swimming and above all pay heed to safety!

Unlikely in Lough Derg!

Unlikely in Lough Derg!

See here for some tips: http://www.river-swimming.co.uk/safety.htm

Protect your skin – preparation

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