Ways to Improve Vision Health Naturally
Your eyes play an important role in the body. They help you look around, move, and do things more freely and with ease. For this reason, you may want to do all it takes to improve vision health.
A healthy vision also helps you appreciate the beauty of nature, the people around you, and the world in general. However, as you age, the ability of the eyes to optimally perform their function slowly begins to decline. When you add a poor diet and a bad lifestyle to it, your eyes may deteriorate even further.
But taking good care of your eyes can help promote eye function and health and even delay the common age-related eye conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
So, what exactly can you do to improve your vision health naturally?
10 Ways to Improve Vision Health
Focus on specific eye health nutrients.
Vitamin A is vital for vision health as it is involved in many processes such as protection of cells from oxidization, regeneration of the cornea and other eye tissues, and the prevention of macular degeneration.
It’s also responsible for synthesizing enzymes that help create new cells in the retina. Without enough Vitamin A, the retina may not be able to produce the proteins it needs, which can lead to vision loss. Additionally, Vitamin A can help to keep your eyes healthy by reducing inflammation and protecting them from damage.
The best plant sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, dried apricots, kale, cantaloupe, butternut squash, spinach, and red peppers
Signs You may need more vitamin A
Like most people, you probably think of your vision as perfect. After all, you can see perfectly fine without your glasses or contacts. But if you’re not getting the recommended amount of vitamin A, there’s a good chance that your vision is starting to decline. Here are some signs that suggest you may need more vitamin
- Your eyes often feel dry
- Your vision becomes worse at night
- You have trouble reading in dim light
- Trouble seeing in the rain or snow
If any of these symptoms are happening to you, it’s important to talk to your doctor about whether or not you need more vitamin A.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help improve vision. In particular, it can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older adults. Vitamin C also helps to protect the eyes from other damage, such as from smoke and UV rays.
Signs you need more vitamin C include
- Dry and irritated eyes that are resistant to artificial tears
- Bleeding gums
- Slow wound healing
- Easy bruises
- Slow wound healing
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Dry and damaged skin
- Bright red hair follicles
- Painful and swollen joints
- Rough and bumpy skin
The best vitamin C foods to eat include citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts, leafy greens, and potatoes, among others.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to promote eye health by reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other vision problems.
According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who increased their intake of vitamin E had a 30 percent reduction in the risk of developing AMD. In addition, vitamin E can help reduce the risk of cataracts and other eye problems by protecting the lens from damage and promoting a healthy inflammatory response.
Signs you need more vitamin E in your diet
- Difficult with upward gaze
- Vision deterioration
- Coordination issues
- Numbness and tingling sensation
- Muscle weakness
If wondering what to eat to meet your daily requirement, include these foods in your diet:
- Sunflower seeds
- Wheat germ
- Red bell pepper
- Beet greens
- Collard greens
- Olive oil
Zinc is an important nutrient for vision because it helps to create and maintain strong eye muscles. It also helps the body produce proteins that are important for vision, including those that help to form the retina. Inadequate zinc levels can lead to problems with vision, such as poor night vision and difficult reading. It’s important to get enough zinc from food or supplements if you’re concerned about your vision.
Signs you need more zinc in your diet
The best plant sources of zinc include seeds, nuts, lentils, oatmeal, and mushrooms.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most important nutrients for eye health. They help protect the eyes from dryness, inflammation, and other age-related problems. These fatty acids are also important for maintaining the health of cell membranes, including those in the eyes.
The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseeds, chia seeds, avocado, hemp seeds, and olive oil.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your eye health, adding foods high in lutein to your diet is a great place to start. Lutein is a carotenoid found in many plant-based foods, including leafy greens, seeds, broccoli, and legumes. In addition to being a good source of antioxidants, lutein has been shown to help protect the eyes against harmful sun exposure, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and other eye diseases.
Zeaxanthin is a natural pigment found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. It is also present in some dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale and collard greens. Zeaxanthin has been shown to help protect the eyes from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and other environmental factors.
Zeaxanthin is also thought to play a role in eye health by helping keep the lens membrane healthy and reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
It may also help to filter out harmful blue light and protect against age-related macular degeneration.
One way to increase your intake of zeaxanthin is to eat more yellow and orange foods. You can also get zeaxanthin from supplements or by applying a zeaxanthin cream to your skin.
Selenium is an essential mineral important for our eyesight. It can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration by protecting the underlying tissues in your eye.
Selenium also helps to protect our eyes from other types of vision problems. For example, it has been shown to prevent cataracts and improve vision in people with short-sightedness or long-sightedness. Selenium also helps to improve vision in people who have diabetes and other conditions that can affect their eye health.
In addition, selenium helps promote healthy blood flow to the retina, protects the lens of your eye from harmful chemicals and ultraviolet light, and improves color perception and overall vision.
Lycopene is a carotenoid that is found in many fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, strawberries, and watermelon. It is considered a beneficial nutrient for eye health because it can help protect against age-related eye conditions, including cataracts and macular degeneration. Lycopene also has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce the risk of other diseases like cancer.
A balanced diet is not only good for your eyes but can help you maintain a healthy weight, thus preventing obesity and its associated conditions such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
A good diet may also help you lower your risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer and generally improve your wellbeing.
Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body. It causes lung disease, heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and certain eye conditions such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and glaucoma.
It may also increase your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy in individuals with diabetes.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that causes blood vessel damage in the retina. This is due to the high glucose levels in the blood that causes repeated irritation resulting in damaged vessels. If one is smoking, the risk is even higher, because smoking constricts retinol blood vessels.
This can increase blood pressure and the risk of developing blurred vision, eye floaters, and difficulty seeing colors.
If not treated and one continues smoking, it may lead to loss of vision.
Being physically active will improve blood pressure and increase oxygen supply to the eyes, thus promoting eye health.
Heart strengthening exercises such as aerobics will lower intraocular pressure, which is the pressure in the eyes that protects the retinal ganglion cells. These exercises also increase blood flow to the retina and the optic nerve, which transmits sensory impulses from the retinal ganglion cells to the visual centers in the brain.
Water is essential for tear secretion, which helps lubricate and moisten the eyes.
When dehydrated, it’s difficult for the tear gland to secret tears. This may lead to dry eyes, eye strain, and vision disturbance issues that may arise with time.
It will also be difficult to wipe out foreign particles from the environment, such as dirt, debris, and other particles in the air.
This may cause irritation or itchiness to the eye, which may cause even more harm, including infections.
Too much UV exposure is not good for your eyes. It can increase your chances of developing macular degeneration or cataracts.
Always go for a pair that blocks out 99 to 100 percent of UVB and UVA rays, such as UV400 sunglasses.
UVA consists of 95% of all UV rays. It has a longer wavelength; thus, it penetrates deep into the skin and eyes and can even penetrate through glass.
UVA, on the other hand, has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin burning. It also affects the corneas and the clear front area of the eyeball. This can result in tearing, severe irritation, and light sensitivity.
Common eye conditions associated with UV light exposure:
- Photokeratitis – Inflammation of the cornea
- Pinguecula – A bump or raised area within the conjunctiva
- Pterygium – Growth on the white part of the eye into the cornea. If the growth persists, it may lead to scarring of the cornea causing total vi
- Cataracts – Though most people are naturally prone to cataracts in old age, research shows that constant exposure to sunlight increases the risk, especially for those close to the equator.
- Macular degeneration
You can also wear wide-brimmed hats and avoid the sun during the hours between 10 am – 4 pm.
Manage chronic conditions
Common conditions such as diabetes are associated with high blood glucose that may damage the nerves and blood vessels supplying the eyes if not well controlled. Read more here.
But diabetes isn’t the only condition affecting the eyes. Multiple sclerosis and high blood pressure can also damage your eyes.
Besides proper management, ensure you are eating right and staying active to lower your risk of complications.
Minimize eye exposure to the screen
Whether it’s a computer or a phone, staring at the screen for too long may cause blurry vision, eyestrain, headaches, dry eyes, trouble focusing at a distance, and back, neck, and shoulder pain.
If your job involves spending too much time on the screen, you’re definitely not going to quit, but you can apply the 20-20-20 rule to minimize your exposure.
This rule applies to anyone spending too much time staring at one thing. Be it TV, laptop, or phone; your eyes need rest.
This rule recommends that you rest every 20 minutes and look at something that’s about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Bottom Line on Improving Vision Health
Having healthy eyes is an integral part of living a healthy life. And even though different things may facilitate damage, including pollution, UV rays, poor diet, smoking, inactivity, dehydration, and underlying chronic conditions, turning the leaf is relatively easy. Put the cigarette at bay, eat a balanced diet, minimize your screen exposure, exercise, use sunglasses when going in the sun, drink adequate amounts of water, and get some rest.
More Tips for Improving Health:
- Heart-Healthy Foods
- Healthy Fats
- Benefits of Getting Sleep
- High Fiber Foods
- Best Sources of Vitamin C
- Smart Ways to Stop Eating Late
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