Most of us take our vision for granted until it starts to give us trouble. Dry eyes can be a consequence of too much time in front of a screen. Are there other lifestyle factors putting us at risk for vision problems?
Cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are major causes of vision loss. What can we do to prevent their development?
Guest: Robert Abel, Jr., MD, is an ophthalmologist with Delaware Ophthalmology Consultants. His books include The Eye Care Revolution and The DHA Story and most recently the novel Lethal Hindsight. His website is
The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. Podcasts can be downloaded for free for six weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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  1. Coleen B.

    Very good broadcast. I have blepharitis which is extremely irritating. I have had four treatments for it and my opthalmologist says it’s improved and I don’t have to return until September. I also have map dot fingerprint dystrophy and some of my eyelashes grow into the eye and have to be lasered away. Thanks for all your help.

  2. LEOLA G.

    I listen to WPR all the time and have for twenty years, everyday. I had not heard your show since we lived in northern WI. I loved it. when my husband died of cancer I moved to southern WI. Last Saturday, July 7th I was listening and voila, it was as if god had planned it. The people’s pharmacy must have been moved into a new time slot, mine……
    Dr. Abel being on your show that day has changed my life. I am on my second year of the forteo drug for osteoporosis, I daily injection. I have been having a lot of trouble with my eyesight. My ophthalmologist said I have dry eyes and gave me samples, telling me my cataracts have two years to go, before I need surgery. I have since purchased more eye drops after scanning 3 shelves of at least 30 kinds. They too do not seem to help.
    I, as for everyone else out there listening to Dr. Abel, with his extreme intelligence, knowledge and wealth of information that he shared with us, thank you Joe and Terry for choosing Dr. Abel to share with us. It takes my breath away, the feeling I have inside as I order the CD, buy the right eye-drops and tell all my sr. friends about this great news. my god did plan it….Leola

  3. AR

    I thought the amount of information Dr. Abel presented was Great!
    Taking brief notes and outlining his presentation is always a help to me. I will listen again to the program because I subscribe to the P.P. Podcast. I shall recommend our local public library purchase a copy of Dr. Abel’s book. I appreciate Dr. Abel’s amount of information he gave — more information is better, that way I can always research the details myself!

  4. Monica Nollet Roland

    I just heard your show with Dr. Robert Abel on WBFO in Buffalo, NY. Dr. Abel was the ophthalmologist who gave my mother and my brother new corneas. My brother, who had Down Syndrome, could be a difficult patient. Dr. Abel, however, always treated David as if he were his most important patient. I remember the time when Dr. Abel contorted himself into a pretzel shape in order to look at David’s eyes. He used humor and patience to get David to cooperate.
    Later, he even took the time to pay his respects at the funerals for my father and David.
    This kind and compassionate man is a true humanitarian — and a brilliant eye specialist. Thanks to your show, I just ordered both of his books!
    Thank you, Joe and Terry Graedon, and Dr. Abel.

  5. JMH

    Just heard this show and thought it was amazing. Thank you. Since my husband leads a group of “a little older, as well as younger” people in GiGong (pre-cursor to Ti Chi) twice a week we were glad to hear that sort of practice mentioned by Dr. Abel. It is so relaxing and seems to be so helpful for keeping bodies limber even for those in their eighties and perhaps nineties. Keep your guests coming. You do us all a great service each week bringing in such interesting, capable people along with your super newsletters and books, Joe and Terry. Cheers! J and Z

  6. Barb

    Can you answer why eyes water all the time? I was in a mall shopping and the tearing became much worse for about 30 minutes. But my eyes water all the time as if I were crying. Barbara T

  7. Monterey Park Optometry

    Great show! Hope to see more about Glaucoma at certain point in time.
    Monterey Park Optometry

  8. H. BAN

    It would be helpful to have another opthamologist preferably a med school panel who has reviewed the double blind studies + research fostered by the supplement industry to comment on these recommendations.

  9. FM

    More on pre-Alzheimer’s: my eye specialist thinks this sort of diagnostic possibility is premature, though he’s hopeful that one day it will be possible to do this with some degree of reliability. He’s used the Heidelberg machine for 15 years but wouldn’t rely on it solely for a diagnosis – it’s just one of many tools in the kit.

  10. FM

    Further to my previous comment, it turned out that my question on Dr. Abel’s site DID go though, and not only that, he answered it in short order.
    This was the question about pre-Alzheimer’s being detectable. The answer is that the latest software for Heidelberg does indeed do this, though a lot of doctors either aren’t aware of this or don’t have the latest software. I’m pursuing this in a few days with my eye specialist and will report back…

  11. S.W.

    Amazing show. I was driving home from visiting my Mom and was transfixed.
    Dear Terry and Joe would you please follow up with your guest and obtain answers to several of the unanswered questions you both had of Dr. Abel. I could hear in your voices that the information was flying out too fast for you to guide Dr. Abel to be more specific and instructive to your listeners.
    I echo the previous comment from F.M.; I am very interested to hear what the pre-alzheimers indicator in the eye is.
    Might I request that you offer a summary of the drops and foods and vitamins that Dr. Abel recommended — would you please post that on your website.
    It is too important to just suggest that everyone might be able to glean such information by purchasing his books.
    Thank you very much for getting Dr. Abel on your show and for attempting to slow him down and to provide specifics for your listeners.
    Just think all the money our Country could save in needless surgery.

  12. O.f.March

    Loved the show. I’ve been having eye trouble for well over year now. My first problem was the feeling of Sand grains behind my eye. He prescribed some type of Steroids. This alleviated the pain greatly as I took it regularly. However, the symptoms kept returning when I ran out of them, after a month or so. In the mean time the steroids extended my eyelashes to a point where I thought they were scratching my eyes and would soon become the second “droog” in a “CLOCKWORK ORANGE”.
    He told me they did not affect my eyes at all. Next time I went he said after looking at my chart only that the scratches on my eyes were gone (never there remember?) The next time I went to another DR and explained my problem to him he saw No scratches & told me so. Took me off the steroids and prescribed another drop along with moisturizers, sold me the mask, complete with heat pads, cold pads etc. The mask seemed to help along with a type antibiotic gel to use every night. The mask helps but…. It is not a problem I was told, but a condition.
    I’m sick of doctors telling me that line. A) what caused it (allergies?) & B) why does it recur. I’m not asking you for an answer to either, unless you have one. Ever know anyone that went to a sleep study that they didn’t want to sell you a see-pack(sp). Fed up. Can I go to some other type of eye doctor That is at the top of the game. The game are my eyes.
    John E., Lexington SC

  13. KR

    Great thanks for the excellent show. Please advise as to where the eye drops mentioned on the program can be purchased.

  14. FM

    a fascinating but frustrating program, not at all the usual Graedon interview style. Abel presented a torrent of information and there was almost no followup on startling “facts” such as: pre-Alzheimer’s (whatever that is) can be detected in the first layer of the eye… is this well known and accepted? I’m going to ask my glaucoma specialist at Duke about that, and I’m sure he’ll say, what’s pre-Alzheimer’s? Very little about glaucoma, huge amount about cataracts, but maybe that’s Abel’s specialty.
    Abel’s own website is even more disappointing, very little info there (though he’s found a product that cures vertigo) and nothing on pre-Alzheimer’s. It’s as though an entirely different person created the website. I tried to ask a question on the site, but the Send button would not send. Possibly the site was inundated after the program aired.
    Maybe it’s all in the book. But there are things like his saying magnesium is incredibly important, then not saying which forms, or not being asked – magnesium oxide would be a poor choice.

  15. Michael R

    Breakthrough program! Among other superlatives, the first mention in national media ever of efficacy of NAC eye drops such as Can-C, Brite Eyes, etc. Very wide ranging discussion of eye health/disease prevention. Thanks!

  16. Joanne J

    No mention was made about the UV exposure that comes from fluorescent lights and which aggravates cataract conditions. After my own eye doctor told me I have starting cataracts, my husband got sheaths for the standard long bulbs that block the UV rays (available at big box building/garden stores. As I have always make a point to wear UV sunglasses when outside, I suspect most of my condition is due to all the flourescents I have worked, studied, and lived under for much of my life.
    I have never liked the light tones from flourescents and have had an on-going battle with my husband about them. It is now very clear that in our household we will not be using the new flourescents that are replacing incandescent bulbs. My sight is too important to me.

  17. Michael R

    Ditto ‘Supperist Show Ever’ — especially since I agreed with the NAC eye drops, kale, nutrition recommendations. Heck I may even buy the book!! Must add circulation herbs ie butcher broom/bilberry/horse chestnut/ginkgo/garlic/goto kola etc for increasing outflow of eye fluids and reduction in interocular pressure. Has worked for me for decades!

  18. sd

    thank you so much. I am a diabetic and have early cataracts. I am going to try the vitamins and eye drops Dr. Abel recommended. I was told “there is nothing you can do about cataracts” from a very reputable ophthalmologist that I have seen for many years.
    It has given me some hope.

  19. Lawrence

    Great program. I wonder whether People’s Pharmacy sells transcripts of its programs. Dr. Abel presented a great deal of content–too much for oral consumption.
    So sorry. We do not offer transcripts as we cannot justify the costs involved. You are welcome to listen again for free by signing up for our free podcasts. You can also stream the audio for 6 weeks for free after the show airs. If you prefer a CD, the cost is $9.99 and you can listen as often as you like.

  20. AIH

    This was amazingly helpful! From the drops to help with early cataracts to the hints on blinking often when in front of the computer for many hours to the nutritional advice to help in the fight against macular degeneration—just a wonderful program.

  21. Charlotte

    So, I really appreciate the information that I receive from the People’s Pharmacy. I am curious to the information that was given regarding Triphala.
    I have learned from the Ayurvedic tradition that Triphala is an Ayurvedic medicine. It is a combination of three herbs to create the Triphala medicine.
    Haritaki is the king of Medicines in Tibetan medicine. Bibhitaki & Amalaki is also known in the Ayurvedic tradition.
    My sources of information are:
    Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D.from the book ‘Planetary Herbology’
    Dr. David Frawley & Vasant Lad from the book ‘Yoga of Herbs’
    As always I get information and opinions from the show!
    Charlotte Raasch MT., CAS..

  22. CCW

    I just had catract surgery on 4-05 and having a difficult time recovering.
    Wish I had a copy of this program for future reference.

  23. Pat F.

    Dr. Abel really knew a vast amount on practical ways to prevent eye disease/problems. I appreciated how he synthesized complex research input clearly and gave specific, do-able strategies, including specific dosages of various supplements and vitamins. I want to pass on this information to many friends, especially those getting older.

  24. Frank J. Weinstock, MD

    Superbly done. As an ophthalmologist, I learned a lot.
    Frank J. Weinstock, MD

  25. JRKothe

    My wife and I thought this was an excellent program…almost too much information coming at your very fast. The doctor conveyed things in an easy to understand manner. Now we need to get a copy of the program to get some of his advice on paper.

  26. Janice M.

    My daughter, age 50, lost her sight in early 2011. Her eye specialist scraped calcium deposits from one eye (left) and it inflamed the eye, spiking the pressure to 45. The desired range is 8-10. It took several attempts with eye drops to stabilize the eye pressure.
    She is taking medication by mouth which is helpful. My daughter is outraged with the specialist because she lost what clarity she had before the procedure; however, when I accompanied her on one of 8 visits during my 2-week visit with her in March, I noticed comments made by the physician indicating that the retina, cornea and optic nerve have been affected.
    My daughter’s glaucoma is heredity, with her grandmother (& Dad), having lost sight completely at age 65 due to glaucoma. The grandmother died some years later. At her most recent office visit, my daughter was able to read the second line of the eye wall chart, for the first time. This raised our hopes. A review of her history indicates that my daughter started first at Johns Hopkins, then was referred to several specialists before the present team she visits several times a month. The Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, and a Maryland Federation for the same are in the first stages of providing professional help and services, including training.
    In one office visit, a type of reader/scanner/computer was explored to bring text closer for clarity, but it was not successful. Is there any hope for my daughter’s sight to be restored? Your advice is much appreciated. Thank you.

  27. RSpring

    One of the most interesting and informative discussions on PP
    What a wonderful program you have Thank you ever so much
    Been listening to you for years
    Richard Spring
    Boca Raton, Fl

  28. Barbara

    This is a super program — I’ve sent info to my own Optometrist — who has shown interest in nutrition and eyes! for the next generation in “Wellness” insurance —

  29. MLV

    How can I find an ophthalmologist in the Charlotte area who takes such an integrative approach to my health and eyecare? I’m realizing that my prescription for nasal spray (Flonase) may be detrimental to my eye care.

  30. Kae

    A few yrs ago my eyes would burn so badly, esp while driving, that the force of tears made me pull the car over and wait several minutes for it to stop.
    This has completely stopped now, and I believe it “cured” when I started
    taking O-3! What a relief.

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