While children can have vision issues, even at birth, the majority of people start noticing a decline in their eyesight between their mid-40’s and early 50’s. These problems are most common when folks are reading or working on computers; anything that requires seeing at close distances. This is a normal change and has to do with the eye’s ability to focus as we age. Most people improve vision with prescription glasses or contact lenses so that they can see better when reading materials up close, under dim lighting, or the menu in restaurants. However, if you want to do more to improve your eyesight, there are a few things that you can do yourself.
Eat Healthy for Healthy Eyes
Your mom was on to something when she told you to eat all of your vegetables. Eating carrots is excellent for your vision. Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for eye health. Other vitamins are also good for your eyesight, too, including Vitamin C, E, copper, and zinc.
Other foods you may want to add to your diet if you are not already eating them are:
- Leafy greens
- Sweet potatoes
These all contain antioxidants that help reduce your chances of developing macular degeneration; a common eye-health challenge.
Eating fish such as salmon, cod, and mackerel is also great for your eyes. These foods contain DHA, a fatty acid with remarkable health benefits.
Exercise for Your Eyes
This might sound bizarre, but your eyes have muscles, and exercise helps keep your eyes in good shape. Eye exercises, as they are called, are best done in the morning, when your eyes aren’t tired from a long day.
Here is one great exercise you can do to strengthen your eyes:
- Warm-up your eyes for about five seconds by placing your palms over them. Don’t press on your eyes, just gently cover them so that the warmth of your hands can warm up the muscles. Do this three times.
- Roll your eyes. Look up and circle your eyes around. Do this 10 times, rolling them both right and left.
- Hold a pen or pencil at arm’s length and focus on the tip. Move the writing tool closer, slowly, until it’s about six inches from your nose. Do this 10 times.
In addition, performing at least 20 minutes a day of full-body exercise is important. By improving the blood circulation, you are also increasing the circulation to your eyes. This helps to remove harmful deposits that might find their way into the eye’s small blood vessels. You don’t need to do aerobics or an intense cardio workout, to help increase circulation. A fast-paced walk will suffice.
Take Time to Rest Your Eyes
If you work on a computer all day long, resting your eyes intermittently is necessary for good eye health. To do this, you don’t need to install a cot in your office. Instead, just close your eyes for a few minutes every hour, or as many times as possible, while you work. This simple tip can help protect your eyes from excessive fatigue.
Get Enough Sleep for Good Eye Health
While resting your eyes for a few minutes here and there is great for short term relief, to truly get the rest your eyes need to recover, day in and day out, you need to get adequate sleep.
Let’s face it. Smoking is terrible for us. It’s bad for our heart, lungs, and eyes. Smoking has been linked to causing blindness in some people. It increases your chances of developing cataracts and causing macular degeneration.
Get Regular Eye Exams
Don’t wait until you can’t see to go to the eye doctor. The sooner your optometrist can detect early changes to your eye health, the less severe a problem it can become. Early diagnosis can be extremely beneficial when it comes to our eyes.