Many changes occur as we age. Our skin becomes less tight, our hearing may fade, and our vision could deteriorate. But growing older doesn’t mean you have to give up on your good health. When it comes to your eyes, for starters, there are several natural ways to improve them, no matter your age.
Preserving your vision is important to you, there’s no doubt about that. Before you turn to costly drugs or surgery, you’ll definitely want to try these home remedies.
Acupressure for eye health
You may have heard 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. 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 seconds can increase circulation.
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 that 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.
Another natural way to improve eyesight is through diet. You can get so many benefits food, 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 reported to provide eye nutrients as well. Kale, along with spinach, collards, and turnip greens contain 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, but in supplement form, every day for a year. They found that their vision sharpness, contrast sensitivity, and sensitivity to glare all improved. The amount of antioxidant the participants consumed was comparable to four cups of kale. If four cups of kale don’t seem appealing, you can diversify your diet by consuming broccoli, corn, romaine lettuce, eggs, green beans, and peas.
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 helps improve vision and wards 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.
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 while combating eye strain.
Glaucoma risk and retinal degeneration progression can be reduced with physical fitness and aerobic exercise. Study findings revealed that exercise may have a 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 based 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 was 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 and meditation, which is often easier to do first thing in the morning or at the end of the 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.
Healthy daily habits
Almost every task we perform involves the use of our eyes, but even our daily habits could be hurting our vision.
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.
Cool your feet
When near an air conditioning unit, it is a good idea to aim the air toward your feet instead of the eyes. This helps to maintain the moisture of your eyes so they don’t dry out too quick. Dry eyes can be discomforting and put you at greater risk of eye infections and ulcers.
Walk 40 minutes
Being physically active can help reduce the symptoms of glaucoma. Over 20 years of research in glaucoma patients found that walking briskly for 40 minutes, four times a week, reduced intraocular pressure significantly—the primary cause of glaucoma. The results were enough to help them reduce or even stop their glaucoma medicine.
Take a break
This is especially important for those who work long hours in front of a bright computer screen. Research has shown that extended hours exposed to artificial light increase the chances of becoming nearsighted. It is in your best interest to get up from your computer desk more often, reducing the time spent in front of a screen. By getting up and away from your computer at least once an hour, you’ll prevent fatigue and eye strain. Also, looking away from your screen and focusing on a point in the distance for at least 30 seconds can help recalibrate your eyes.
Get tested for glaucoma
This is a serious eye condition that affects thousands of people around the globe. It is also the leading causes of blindness and is caused by rising pressure within the eye itself. Getting an early diagnosis from your eye doctor will help you get the treatment you need as soon as possible. Waiting too long may cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve required for sight. The International Glaucoma Association recommends testing at least every two years if you are over 40 years old, have a family history of glaucoma, are near sighted, diabetic, or of African-Caribbean descent.
Eat sunshine colored foods
This generally means food that is yellow or orange in color. This can include egg yolks and a wide variety of yellow or orange vegetables such as carrots and pumpkin. These foods contain vital nutrients that help protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD)—the most common cause of blindness in old people. However, dark green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli also have the same beneficial effect.
Get wraparound protection
This refers to wearing sunglasses. While the sun may be great on the skin, its rays can have a damaging effect on the eyes. This is a result of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Wearing sunglasses also protects against the drying effects of the wind and against pollution. The Mayo Clinic recommends sunglasses that offer 99–100 UV protection, with large lenses able to protect against more harmful sun rays.
Lower the screen
A computer is vital for most people. Bright screens are often used for both work and play. You can help reduce chances of dry eyes by simply positioning your computer screen below eye level. This will position your eyelids in a way that minimizes fluid evaporation.
When it comes to protecting your vision, there are many home remedies out there. Start today and you’ll see results, no pun intended.
Related: 7 common habits that are harming your vision