Home remedies to improve vision and eye health

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | Eye Health | Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 08:30 AM

Senior woman hands.Preparing vegetables in vintage kitchen.

Many changes occur as we age. Our skin isn’t as tight anymore, our hearing may fade, and our vision may deteriorate. But growing older doesn’t mean you have to give up on your good health. When it comes to your eyes, for one, there are several natural ways to improve eyesight – no matter how old you are.

Preserving your vision is important to you, there’s no doubt in that, so before you turn to costly drugs or surgery, you’ll definitely want to try these home remedies for good eyesight.

1. Acupressure for eye health

You may have heard of the traditional Chinese medicine of acupressure, which involves applying pressure to points in the body to boost circulation and promote healing. This treatment is similar to acupuncture, but instead of using fine needles, fingers target the healing points.
Acupressure for eye health is an effective natural way to improve eyesight – and you can easily perform it on yourself.

Around your eye, there are seven acupressure points to focus on. They start at the corner of your eye – closest to your nose – and continue across the brow, ending underneath your eyelid. Massaging each point for at least 10 second begins to increase circulation to the eyes.

In Chinese medicine, energy meridians run along the body and connect certain parts together. So another effective pressure point for your eye health is the tip of your thumbs. By massaging this point, you can target areas in the neck which can boost circulation to the eyes. Massaging both your thumbs regularly can lead to brighter, clearer eyesight. You can achieve similar results by massaging your big toe.

This home remedy for good eyesight is easily performed and can be done daily – all you need is a few spare minutes to improve your eyesight.

2. Eye-friendly nutrients

Another natural way to improve eyesight is through your diet. We can get so many benefits just from the things we eat, and a diet packed with nutrient-rich vegetables like carrots and omega-3 fatty acid supports healthy vision.

A 2007 Harvard Medical School study looked at the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for eye health in mice. The researchers found that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids supported healthy blood vessel growth, which is essential for proper vision. Omega-3s can be found in many nuts and fish, for example, almonds and salmon.

Other beneficial nutrients for supporting better eyesight are vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, and E, as well as beta-carotene, amino acids, and other antioxidants, commonly found in leafy greens, berries, and carrots.

Bananas and kale have been previously reported to provide eye nutrients as well. Kale, along with spinach, collards, and turnip greens, contains high amounts of an antioxidant that is essential for healthy vision.

In a Chinese study, the researchers gave participants the same antioxidant found in kale, in supplement form, every day for a year and found that their vision sharpness, contrast sensitivity, and sensitivity to glare all improved. The amount of the antioxidant the participants consumed was comparable to four cups of kale. If four cups of kale doesn’t seem appealing, you can diversify your diet by consuming broccoli, corn, romaine lettuce, eggs, green beans, and peas as well.
The antioxidant found in kale is also found within the eye and helps create sharpness. When the antioxidant is low – brought on by smoking, poor diet, and exposure to UV light – vision may appear blurry or with a glare.

Researchers found that banana consumption may help improve vision and ward off vision-related ailments. So what makes bananas so good for your eyes? Well, the same properties that give fruits their bright colors also work to improve eyesight, and bananas contain these beneficial compounds, too. Furthermore, this compound is converted into vitamin A, which can be useful for individuals with a vitamin A deficiency. It’s important to note that vitamin A is also crucial for eye health, so it’s wise to stock up on fruits that are rich in this essential vitamin.

The next time you’re out grocery shopping, pick up some of these items to improve eyesight.

3. Exercise for your eyes

Just as your body requires exercise to function at its best, your eyes need to do some exercise as well. This will help to improve focus and concentration, and combat eye strain.

Glaucoma risk and retinal degeneration progression can be reduced with physical fitness and aerobic exercise. The study findings revealed that exercise may have long-term positive impact on low ocular perfusion pressure (OPP), which is a risk factor for glaucoma.

The researchers examined the relationship between physical activity and OPP among 5,650 men and women. The participants were evaluated on their physical activity levels with detailed self-administered health and lifestyle questionnaires. Intraocular (eye) pressure and blood pressure were also checked. The results showed that physical exercise performed 15 years prior is associated with a 25 percent lower risk of low OPP.

Exercise can also help ward off vision problems in diabetics, too. The most common cause of vision loss in diabetics, diabetic retinopathy “involves changes to retinal blood vessels that can cause them to bleed or leak fluid, distorting vision,” according to the U.S. National Eye Institute.

The researchers tracked the outcomes of 282 American diabetes patients to assess the impact of exercise on their vision health.

The average age of the participants was 62, and nearly one-third of them had mild or severe diabetic retinopathy. The researchers used an accelerometer device to measure activity. On average, participants were active for 8.7 hours a day.

The researchers found that every 60-minute daily increase in physical inactivity increased the risk of mild or severe diabetic retinopathy by 16 percent. The researchers believe the association between a sedentary lifestyle and diabetic retinopathy may have to do with an elevated risk of heart disease, which can further increase the risk for diabetic retinopathy.

There are a variety of exercises for your eyes. For starters, you can blink. Every time you blink, you create moisture, which in turn soothes the eyes. If you start to begin feeling some eye strain, simply blink continuously for four to five seconds.

Other forms of exercise are breathing or meditation, often easier to do first thing in the morning or at the end of your day. By closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing, you can recharge. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth for at least two minutes, then open your eyes without focusing on anything in particular. Repeat this at least three times.

Giving your eyes a break is a great natural way to improve eyesight. Just remember to avoid eyestrain by looking away from your computer screen, for example, and not watching too much television.

4. Ginkgo biloba for eyes

Herbs are also excellent home remedies for promoting good eyesight. Ginkgo biloba, in particular, works well for the eyes.

Like many other parts of your body that require blood flow, your eyes are no different. An increase in blood supply promotes better function and carries more essential nutrients to your cells. This is where ginkgo biloba comes in. Ginkgo biloba helps increase blood flow specifically to the eyes. Research on ginkgo biloba supplementation has shown it to be an effective natural way to help promote healthy eyesight.

5. Healthy daily habits

Almost every task we perform involves the use of our eyes – but even our daily habits could be hurting our vision. So use your eyes with care!

Whenever you’re stuck staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time, take breaks to look away from the screen. This should be done at least every 20 minutes. Also, make sure the screen is at least 18 inches away from your face and slightly below eye level. Similar tips go for watching TV.

If you enjoy a good book every now and then, ensure the room is properly lit – dim lighting can cause unnecessary strain.

If you wear glasses, make sure the prescription is up-to-date. Otherwise, they could be causing you more harm. Also, go for an eye exam regularly, so that any changes to your eyes or vision can be caught early enough.

Lastly, get a proper amount of sleep. Your eyes, like your body, require rest. When you don’t sleep well, they have to work extra hard the following day. If you’re having problems sleeping, seek out methods to help you get a restful night.

When it comes to protecting your vision, there are many home remedies for good eyesight. Start today and you’ll see results, no pun intended. These simple methods are good, natural ways to improve eyesight. Your eyes deserve your care and attention.

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