So many things can take a toll on our eyesight. Age, health and environment all play a role in the eventual diminished capacity of our eyes. However, there are things we can do to prevent some of the strain and keep our eyes in good working order.
Eat vision-friendly foods
A healthy diet is extremely important to the health of your eyes. For maximum benefit, be sure to include the following:
Dark leafy greens like kale, Brussel sprouts, and spinach, as well as dark berries like blueberries (they are rich in lutein, which helps prevent macular degeneration.)
Fresh wild-caught fish, walnuts and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are known for reducing inflammation of blood vessels contained in the eyes.
Two servings of caffeine daily can help prevent eye dryness and promote production of tears. However, too much caffeine can have the opposite effect, so keep it in moderation. Go for natural, antioxidant-rich sources like organic coffee and green tea.
Eyes need exercise, too
There are exercises you can do with your eyes to increase flexibility of the eye muscles. One such exercise for nearsightedness is done by moving your eyes in the direction of a horizontal figure eight. Another exercise involves holding a pen a few inches in front of your face and watching as you bring it closer to your eyes.
Ask your doctor or optometrist which eye exercises you can do to help your vision. They’ll know which are best for your particular situation.
Nutritional supplements can be beneficial, as well as acupressure, homeopathy, acupuncture and massage. Talk to a health professional of your choice regarding how these therapies can benefit your eyes. In the case of supplements, always choose a high-quality, food-grade supplement from a source you trust.
Give your eyes a break
With so many people working in front of computers and spending time on their smartphones, the strain on the eyes can do serious damage. It is important to follow the 20-20-20 rule: approximately every 20 minutes, make a point to look at least 20 feet of distance away from the screen for a duration of 20 seconds.
The strain of focusing and concentration actually reduces the amount of blinking that you do as well, which can increase dryness in the eyes.
Protect your vision
Our eyes are very susceptible to environmental hazards like air quality and UV light exposure. Exposure to UV light promotes macular degeneration and the development of cataracts. For this reason, it is recommended that you wear sunglasses with 100 percent protection against both UVA and UVB light.
This is especially true when it comes to protecting your children’s eyes, because by age 18 they will have received 80 percent of the UV exposure they will experience in their lifetime.
Protect your overall health
Not only does a healthy diet impact your eyes, exercise helps them out as well. Exercise creates an increase in circulation, which lowers the pressure in the eyes. This is particularly helpful to people with glaucoma.
Exercising for weight loss is beneficial too, since illnesses like diabetes can increase your chances of developing eye diseases.
By taking good care of your eyes, you greatly increase your chances of enjoying optimal vision throughout your life.