It’s no secret that our eyes weaken with age but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Lifestyle and nutrition play a big part, as do preventative measures.
Besides seeing your eye doctor/optometrist every year, here are 6 sure-fire ways to keep your eyesight the best it can be for years to come.
1. Eat for good vision
Protecting your eyes starts with your diet. Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E help to ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. These are the foods you should eat for good eye health:
- Leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens
- Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
- Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources
- Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices
- Vitamins A, C, E, and minerals like copper and zinc
- Anthocyanin-rich blueberries, grapes, and goji berries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help improve your vision
Eating a well-balanced diet also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which makes you less likely to get obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Studies show diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
2. Wear sunglasses
The right kind of sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays as too much UV exposure makes you more likely to get cataracts and macular degeneration.
Choose sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Some contact lenses also offer UV protection.
3. Avoid eye strain
Staring at a computer screen or your smart device for too long can cause eyestrain and blurry vision.
Here’s how to avoid eye strain:
- Make sure your glasses or contact lens prescription is up-to-date and correct for computer use.
- Position your computer so that your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. This allows you to look slightly down at the screen.
- Try to avoid glare on your computer from windows and lights.
- Blink more!
4. Exercise your eyes
These simple exercises will help you maintain your vision and stop eye fatigue. Perform these exercises first thing in the morning, before bedtime, or any time your eyes feel tired. Make sure that your hands are clean and that you are relaxed.
- Warm your eyes. Rub your palms together to create heat, and then place them against your eyes for five seconds. Repeat this three times.
- Roll your eyes around 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise.
- Massage your temples in small circles, 20 times in one direction and 20 in the other.
- Take a mini-nap. Put your head back, close your eyes, and relax for 3 minutes.
5. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for eye health – it allows your eyes to fully rest, repair, and recover. Insufficient sleep may weaken your vision.
6. Stay hydrated
Round out a healthy diet with non-caffeinated herbal teas and water. Proper hydration also may reduce irritation from dry eyes.
7. Manage your blood glucose
High blood sugar contributes to cataracts and damages small arteries, including the delicate blood vessels in the retina.
8. Avoid tobacco smoke
Smoking damages the eyes, and escalates the risk of arterial disease, not to mention it is bad for your overall health.
9. Drink a glass or two of green tea every day
Extracts in green tea protect against diabetes and heart disease and defend against damage to the retina and lens such as cataracts.
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