- Simple Steps for Improving Your Eyesight
- Improving eyesight naturally
- Will eye exercises save my sight? (Or just make me roll my eyes?)
- Supplements and Herbs for Eye Health
- Medicinal Herbs
- Nutritional Supplements
- Practice Healthy Eating Habits
- Daily Eye Care
- Outdoor Eye Protection
- How to Improve Eyesight Naturally (& Safely)
- Remedies for Naturally Enhancing Vision
- Myths Related to Vision Improvement
- 7 Easy, Natural Ways to Protect Your Vision
- 1. Go for a Daily Walk
- 2. Keep Your Weight in a Healthy Zone
- 3. Wear Sunglasses
- 4. Manage Your Blood Glucose
- 5. Avoid Tobacco Smoke
- 6. Drink a Glass or Two of Green Tea Every Day
- 7. Try an Eye-Protective Diet
- Bright and Beautiful Summer Squashes
- Strawberry-Kiwi Parfait
- 6 Home Remedies for Baggy Eyes
- Throw on the towel.Canyon Ranch® Wellness Resorts
Simple Steps for Improving Your Eyesight
When we can’t see clearly, we grasp at what we can. While we can’t correct vision without the help of lenses or surgery, there are some fundamental ways you can improve your eyesight and eye health on your own.
Improving eyesight naturally
The best way to improve your eyesight naturally is to give your eyes what they need to be healthy. A steady supply of nutritious foods and vitamins keeps your eyes — and your body in general — at their peak.
Vitamins and antioxidants
Two common vitamins and antioxidants shown to help improve eyesight include:
- Vitamin A (deficiencies hurt our supply of a pigment called rhodopsin that’s critical for seeing in low light and at night)
How lutein helps your eyes
Lutein is a pigment found in high concentrations in a layer of the retina where pigment-packed cells help shield against excess light. Solid scientific research shows that lutein supplementation aids this process in our eyes to naturally improve vision.
Fortunately, lutein is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard
Food for sight
Many of the vitamins and antioxidants that improve eyesight naturally are found in common foods, including:
- Carrots, kale, spinach, and collard greens (vitamin A and lutein)
- Liver (vitamin A), including cod liver oil
- Swiss chard, zucchini, and brussel sprouts (lutein)
- Sweet potatoes and butter (vitamin A)
Will eye exercises save my sight? (Or just make me roll my eyes?)
Many eye exercises are touted as ways to naturally improve eyesight and overcome nearsightedness. The Bates Method suggests palming, movement and visualization techniques to reshape the eyeball and improve vision. Yan Bao Jian Cao suggests massage and acupressure as ways to relieve strain and eye problems.
However, none of these exercises are verified to have more than anecdotal or placebo results. While vision therapy is a serious area of optometry that addresses problems with alignment, tracking and strain, there’s no sound evidence that vision exercises can affect clarity.
We can’t correct our vision without professional help, and there’s no quick-and-easy fix for eyesight problems. But with tools such as good nutrition and diet, you can still help your eyesight naturally and on your own. As always, please discuss with your eye doctor.
Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the recommendations of a medical professional. For specific questions, please see your eye care practitioner.
Supplements and Herbs for Eye Health
High blood glucose levels and high blood pressure can cause damage to blood vessels in the eyes. Are you taking a proactive approach to protecting your vision from eye conditions such as cataracts or macular degeneration? While a well-balanced diet can help safeguard your eyesight, you may also want to consider medicinal supplements and herbs proven to boost eye health beyond food alone.
Eyebright, contained in teas, tinctures and homeopathic eyedrops, is traced to the 14th century as a cure for widespread eye maladies, reducing inflammation and infection.
Ginkgo (ginko biloba) improves blood flow to the back of the eye; as an antioxidant, it protects nerve cells throughout the eye and body.
Gou qi zi (wolfberries) is one of many traditional Chinese herbs for eye health. The red diamond-shaped berry is known to improve eyesight, moisten dry eyes and prevent macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Green tea is chocked with vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and antioxidants to help guard eye tissues from glaucoma and other diseases.
Ju hua (chrysanthemum flower) is rich in beta-carotene and B vitamins and has proven beneficial for watery eyes, spotty vision and blurred vision.
Mi meng hua (buddleia), and its flower buds in particular, help alleviate light sensitivity, dim eyesight and extra eye secretions. Medical studies note that buddleia helps protect against cloudiness and eye lens damage.
Many of these eye-supportive nutrients are already in multivitamins and natural food sources, including leafy green vegetables, fruits, eggs, meats, fish and nuts.
Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant that helps reduce eye cell damage and cataract risk.
Beta-carotene, a pigment in plants, helps with the production of vitamin A and can lower the risk of macular degeneration, stroke and other diseases of older age.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids found in salmon, herring, tuna and a number of cold-water fish are linked to healthy visual development and retinal function. Omega-3s also help regulate intraocular pressure.
Folic acid is a B vitamin that when deficient can lead to deterioration of the optical nerve.
Lutein, derived from eggs and leafy green vegetables, lowers the risk for cataracts and macular degeneration.
Selenium is a mineral with anti-oxidizing properties that shield cells from damage. Walnuts and enriched breads and rice provide dietary selenium.
Vitamin A helps maintain clear, sharp vision and reduces the risk of night blindness.
Vitamin C as an antioxidant helps lower the formation of cataracts and helps reduce the risk for glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
Vitamin E has proven to slow cataract growth and is naturally found in leafy green vegetables and nuts.
Zeaxanthin appears in high concentration in the macula of the eye and is believed to help block damaging blue light from reaching the inner structures of the retina.
Zinc at appropriate levels strengthens retinal cells and helps prevent blindness from macular degeneration.
Getting too much of certain micronutrients, minerals and herbs can cause health problems. Before taking any dietary supplement or herb, always check with your doctor first.
What supplements and herbs have you found beneficial for eye health?
An award-winning journalist who has documented stories in nearly 20 countries, Beth Lueders is an author, writer and speaker who frequently reports on diverse topics, including aging and health issues for both U.S. and international corporations.
The eyes are arguably one of the most important parts of the human body and experience. They provide us with perspective, dazzle by translating color, and allow us the explore environments like no other sense can. Unfortunately, as we age, eyes can weaken in ways that limit how we see the world around us.
Fortunately, there are simple habits to take up that slow down or prevent eye degeneration. They are easily integrated into a daily or weekly routine, and go a long way to help improve eye health.
Practice Healthy Eating Habits
There are two primary ways a person can improve natural eye health through healthy eating: targeted intake of certain nutrients and general diet maintenance.
Studies indicate that antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin actively reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration—both of which often occur with aging.
These two antioxidants are popularly found in leafy green vegetables, including:Spinach, Collard greens, Kale, Broccoli and Lettuce.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are not the only nutrients proven to have a positive effect on eye health. Both vitamin C and vitamin E provide valuable repair building blocks for the eyes. Vitamin C is similar to lutein and zeaxanthin, and Vitamin E has the ability to strengthen tissue, including eye tissue.
Foods high in vitamin C include, Oranges, Strawberries, Brussels sprouts, Grapefruit and Green peppers. Food items boasting high amounts of vitamin E include, Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Wheat germ oil, Pecans and Vegetable oils.
Additionally, an overall healthy variety of food helps to prevent the onset of obesity. With obesity comes the risk of diabetes, one of the leading causes of blindness in adults. Targeted nutrient intake is valuable to helping your eyes individually, but holistic body health is key to keep all body systems functioning.
Daily Eye Care
Natural eye care health is also improved through adjusting everyday actions people take at work, home, and when they are out and about. Knowing how to handle technology is key.
For many people, eye strain from staring at a computer for too long is a risk. Unfortunately, an incredible number of jobs require their employees to sit behind a computer screen for hours on end. What’s great for the company may not be great for individual employees, though at the same time it’s unavoidable for many industries.
Outside of work, people compound their screen time by smartphone, TV, and personal computer use at home. Staring at screens for too long and without regular interruption can lead to the following:
- Dry eye and various dry eye symptoms
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty focusing at a long distance
- General eyestrain
- Persistent headaches
Though staring at screen may be unavoidable for most people, there are ways to reduce negative side effects. First, consider incorporating the “20/20/20” rule. After every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, look somewhere that’s 20 feet away and stare there for at least 20 seconds.
Consider using glasses that diminish screen glare and intensity. Such glasses are often found at a general eye care vendor. There’s a simple treatment for dry eye at the office: increased blinking. It may feel unnatural at first, but it’s a key, natural,way to help moisten eyes after staring at a screen for too long. Blink fully. Squeeze the eyes tight for 10 seconds. This will help release the natural oils in the glands that help to stabilize the tear layer. Use artificial tears to lubricate and protect the surface of the eye. Look for natural tears and avoid products for redness relief.
Outdoor Eye Protection
Maintaining healthy eyes shouldn’t be a chore or major source of stress, especially when outside having fun. Wear sunglasses whenever outdoors in the daytime. Sunglasses should block 100 % of UV rays and about 85% of visible light.
Protection is the key to keeping outdoor (or even indoor) recreation as entertaining as it should be. Many sports and outdoor activities require protective eyewear already. Use them when outside for extended periods of time.
There are many different tints that may enhance sports such as golf, hiking, and biking. Wrap wrap around styles protect the eyes by preventing glare coming in from the sides. People who drive often should also consider polarized sunglasses lenses to reduce driving glare.
For heavy-duty team sports, protective glasses – like any protective gear – is an absolute must. Protective eyewear is mandatory for contact sports such as lacrosse, racquetball, ice hockey, and are still a smart idea for lower-impact activities. Impact to they eye can lead to sight threatening injuries. Wearing the proper glasses for your activity can enhance your vision while protecting your sight.
Luckily, maintaining and protecting eye health does not require a total change in everything about your life. Doing so, instead, requires integrating a few simple, manageable life habits. For any questions about holistic eye care or eye health, consider reaching out to a Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center expert. We’re happy to hear from you.
How to Improve Eyesight Naturally (& Safely)
Table of Contents
- Remedies for Naturally Enhancing Vision
- Related Myths
There are no specific remedies that are proven to improve your vision and eyesight naturally without corrective eyewear if you suffer from astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia), or farsightedness (hyperopia).
There are things you can do to maintain eye health and potentially enhance your vision, however. These include healthy lifestyle choices like eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and not smoking. Reducing eye strain and protecting your eyes from exposure to UV and excessive blue light are also good for eye health. (Learn More)
There are many myths out there about ways you can improve your eyesight without glasses or contacts. These include things like exercises for your eyes, eating a lot of carrots, and trying to train your eyes without glasses. (Learn More) Most of these techniques have not been proven effective.
The best thing you can do for your eyes is make healthy life choices and see your eye doctor for an exam on a regular basis.
Remedies for Naturally Enhancing Vision
One of the best ways to take care of your eyes is to take care of the rest of your body. Healthy choices with diet, sleep patterns, and exercise, as well as seeing the doctor for regular checkups and practicing good hygiene, can keep your body and your eyes in good shape.
There is no specific method for improving your vision without the use of corrective measures like laser surgery or prescription eyewear if you suffer from hyperopia, astigmatism, or myopia. The shape of your eyes is what determines your level of refractive error, and that cannot change with exercises or eye training.
You may be able to change the way your brain and eyes work together and therefore improve vision in certain situations. For example, children who suffer from “lazy eye,” or amblyopia, can use special vision therapy techniques to help their eyes work together the way they should. This does then improve their vision.
There are things you can do naturally to boost your eye health and therefore your vision.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet rich in antioxidants and vitamin A. Leafy vegetables, carrots, and fish can aid in maintaining eye health. A nutritious diet can help to enhance vision and slow down age-related vision loss.
- Get enough sleep. When you are overtired, your eyes can be more easily strained and feel gritty and dry. Healthy amounts of sleep can decrease tired eyes and therefore improve vision.
- Exercise regularly. Physical fitness can enhance the circulation of your blood and oxygen flow to your eyes. This can help to decrease dry eyes.
- Protect your eyes from the sun. Wear sunglasses with UV protection when you are out in the sun to keep the harmful rays from diminishing your eyesight with prolonged exposure.
- Wear eye protection when doing anything that could potentially lead to eye injury. The American Optometric Association (AOA) publishes that the most common visual issues for young adults (people between the ages of 19 and 40) are related to injuries and stress on the eyes.
- Take breaks from screen time. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that if you spend a lot of time looking at a screen, such as a computer or smartphone, take a break and look 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds at a time. This can help to prevent digital eye strain, which can cause eye fatigue, headaches, neck tension, and decreased vision.
- Obtain regular eye exams. The National Eye Institute (NEI) publishes that this is the best way to ensure that your eyes are in the best health possible. An eye exam can catch potential issues right away and aid in maintaining eye and vision health.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can increase the risk for many physical health issues, including optic nerve damage, macular degeneration related to age, and cataracts — all of which can negatively impact vision.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands and face thoroughly and regularly. Keep cosmetics and chemicals out of the eyes. If you wear contacts, clean and store them properly.
Myths Related to Vision Improvement
There are many methods out there for naturally improving vision, including a host of ways to train your eyes with eye exercises. Some of these methods may work for strengthening your eye muscles or helping your brain and eyes to work better together, but none of them have been scientifically proven to improve vision without the help of corrective lenses or surgery.
- Myth: Eat a lot of carrots. While carrots do contain vitamin A that can aid in enhancing night vision, just eating carrots is not going to make you see better. A balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients is good for eye health. Just eating a ton of carrots on their own may actually make you sick or appear yellow in color.
- Myth: Don’t wear your glasses because they can make your eyesight worse. Corrective eyewear, such as contact lenses or glasses, is not going to decrease your natural eyesight any more than it is going to “cure” your refractive error, Mayo Clinic explains. Prescription eyewear can help you to see better. Glasses and contacts will not change the shape of your eyes, so they can’t impact eyesight when you are not wearing them.
- Myth: Practicing relaxation or eye massage techniques can decrease the need for glasses. Methods like rubbing your palms on your eyes, placing hot and/or cold compresses on your eyes, or using mud packs over closed eyes are often touted as ways to improve vision naturally. These methods may help to reduce eye strain and be a good way to decrease tension, but there is no proof that they can actually improve your eyesight directly.
- Myth: Eye exercises can correct refractive errors and help you see better. There are many different eye exercises that claim to train your eyes and strengthen the muscles around them. Many are extremely tedious and require long periods of concentration every day. They may be helpful in some way, but it is not proven that they work. It is easier to wear prescription eyewear instead.
Improving your vision naturally often comes down to eye health in general. Healthy lifestyle choices and regular eye exams are the optimal method for keeping your eyesight as good as possible for as long as you can.
Talk to your ophthalmologist about specific tips for maintaining and enhancing your vision and eye health.
The See Clearly Method and Other Programs: Do Eye Exercises Improve Vision? (May 2014). All About Vision.
How Vision Changes as You Age. (April 2019). All About Vision.
Adult Vision: 19 to 40 Years of Age. (2019). American Optometric Association (AOA).
To Prevent Digital Eye Strain. American Optometric Association (AOA).
Simple Tips for Healthy Eyes. National Eye Institute (NEI).
Myths and Facts. Mayo Clinic.
Most adults start developing vision issues between their mid-40s and early 50s, particularly when reading and working on computers. Poor vision at close distances is one of the most common vision challenges between the ages of 40 and 60. However, this is a normal change with the eye’s ability to focus and may progress with time.
At first, you may have to hold reading materials far away to see them. With time, you may have to remove your glasses to see reading materials up close. Under dim lighting, print newspapers and restaurant menus may appear blurred.
Your vision may improve if you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses. But, if you want to do more to improve your vision, there are other ways to do so. In this article, we explore eight ways to improve your vision over 50.
1. Eat for your eyes
Eating carrots is good for your vision. Although it may sound cliché, it’s not entirely wrong. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, an essential nutrient for vision. However, vitamin A isn’t the only vitamin that promotes healthy eye function. Make sure that you include foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, and zinc to your diet.
As you get older, macular degeneration can become your biggest challenge. Antioxidants can help reduce macular degeneration. As such, eat foods such as eggs, pumpkins, carrots, dark leafy greens, and sweet potatoes.
Fish is also great for your eyes. Coldwater fish such as mackerel, wild salmon, and cod are rich in DHA, a fatty acid that strengthens cell membranes, including those in your eyes.
2. Exercise for your eyes
Since eyes have muscles, they could use some exercises to remain in good shape. Eye exercises are great when done in the morning, when your eyes feel tired and before retiring to bed. If you’re consistent for a month, you may start noticing a difference.
Begin by warming your eyes for five seconds with warm palms. Do it three times. Rolling your eyes isn’t just an expression of annoyance, it can help your eye muscles too. Look up and circle your eyes about ten times in both directions.
To sharpen your focus, hold a pen at arm’s length and focus on it. Move the pen closer slowly until it’s about six inches from your nose. Redo this process ten times.
3. Full body exercise for vision
Exercising for at least twenty minutes a day is healthy for your entire body, including your eyes. Improved blood circulation is beneficial to the small blood vessels in the eyes as it removes harmful substances that may have been deposited. Exercise doesn’t have to be intense. In fact, a brisk walk is enough.
4. Rest for your eyes
Closing your eyes for just a few minutes is helpful. You can do this once an hour or many times when you’re hard at work. And if your job involves sitting in front of a computer or reading, closing your eyes can be refreshing. As simple as it sounds, this exercise can protect your eyes from over exertion or fatigue.
5. Get enough sleep
Resting your eyes for a couple of minutes isn’t enough. Your body requires regular, restful sleep. Any doctor will inform you about the importance of sleep for your health and wellbeing. When your body gets enough rest, your eyes become renewed. If you engage in intense visual activity such as working on a computer or reading a book, short breaks go a long way in helping your eyes, as it gives them a chance to rest.
6. Create eye-friendly surroundings
Plenty of things that surround us everyday can be bad for the eyes. For instance, sitting for long periods of time in front of a computer, getting swimming pool chlorine water in your eyes, using dim lighting when reading, and fluorescent lights can degrade your vision. Look out for these conditions and do all you can to reduce exposing your eyes to them.
7. Avoid smoking
Apart from being unhealthy for many reasons, smoking can contribute to blindness. Smoking can increase your chances of developing cataracts and can cause age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Additionally, smoking can reduce the number of antioxidants that are beneficial to your eyes.
8. Have regular eye exams
Most people wait until they experience vision problems to get eye exams. Sometimes, that can be too late. Getting eye exams early can help diagnose problems before they become severe. In fact, most vision defects can be corrected when detected early.
Regular vision exams can help by:
- Adjusting prescriptions for corrective lenses: Vision changes with time and the eyeglasses that were once the best diopter might be damaging your eyes now.
- Check alignment: Sometimes turned or crossed eyes can cause strain on eye muscles. Your eye doctor can help diagnose this issue early to avoid causing further damage to your eyes.
- Eye tone: Eye tone changes with age and a corrective lens can bridge any defects.
- Retina exam: Blood vessels present in the retina can be signs of diabetes. Eye exams can reveal more health issues beyond vision.
Beyond 50, vision can be challenging. However, it can be improved with a good lifestyle, healthy nutrition, and regular eye checkups.
Some people quote the Heraclitus ~“The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears.” For some, “eyes are the window to the soul.” Whatever may be your description of the eyes, at the basic, it is an incredible organ that bestows everyone with the power of vision.
Unfortunately, the illuminating sight, the eyes have to suffer a lot and are prone to deterioration of the vision or complete eyesight loss. Ayurvedically, the excess of heat (Pitta) or coldness (Kapha) in and around the eyes leads to Drishti Dosha.
Exercises, herbs, home remedies to improve eyesight are effective options for restoring the natural light of the eyes.
The natural remedies to improve eyesight include herbs. The information is given below:
1. Triphala: Triphala is an Ayurvedic herb containing the healing properties of three fruits: Amla, Haritaki and Bibhitaki. Each ingredient is a powerhouse of medicinal properties and the Triphala formulation balances the three doshas of the body. Triphala is cooling in Prakruti that helps reduce inflammation, redness and itchiness. You can make your own Triphala eyewash at home by following the procedure:
●Mix a half tablespoon of organic Triphala powder in boiling water.
● Allow the elixir to cool. Now, strain out the visible particles.
● Soak a towel in the mixture and apply it on your eyes for a cooling effect.
2. Ginkgo Biloba: As a natural antioxidant, the Ginkgo Biloba is considered healthy for eyes and is used for improving vision. Its antioxidant properties offer relief against oxidative stress that induces ocular damage and treats glaucoma thus improving vision.
3. Fennel Seeds and Almonds: Fennel seeds and almonds are important ingredients of Ayurvedic natural remedies to improve eyesight. Fennel seeds and almonds are packed with nutrients beneficial for eyesight.
● Mix and grind equal amounts of fennel seeds, almonds, and rock sugar.
● Add two tablespoon of the mixture in warm milk and drink it regularly on an empty stomach for better chances of improving vision.
4. Amla: Amla is a wondrous food regarded for its medicinal properties to improve vision. It is rich in nutrients and vitamin C which keeps retinal cells and capillaries healthy.
5. Bilberry: Savoring antioxidant rich and lush blue bilberries can prove to be a treat for the taste buds and eyes. The antioxidant properties of the bilberry strengthen blood vessels and increase retinal pigments that protect the vision.
Yoga for improving Vision:
● Sukhasana (Easy Pose): Sit in this posture with your legs crossed at the shins. Look in the front direction. Now, start to move your eyes gently in all the four directions, upward, downward, right way and left way. The movement of eyes enhances blood flow towards them that helps in improving vision.
● Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose): Lie on the floor with your stomach in close contact with the ground. Press the palms into a yoga mat and lift up your head and chest off the floor. Look in the upward direction. The pose improves blood circulation to the eyes that keeps eye defects at bay.
● Savasana (Corpse Pose): Lie on the earth in supine position. Close your eyes and relax your body parts. Stay in the corpse pose for 5 minutes and release. The corpse pose releases stress in your eyes and contributes towards a healthy vision.
● Seated Yogic Position and Palming: Sit in any cross-legged position like Lotus pose, Easy pose, etc. with palms on the knees. Now, bring them together and rub for 6-10 seconds. Place the heated palms on your eyes and breathe slowly. This yogic technique provides relaxation to the eyes.
Ingest Eye-Healthy Foods and Drinks:
● Certain food and drinks make for potent home remedies to improve eyesight. Stewed apples, sprouted chickpeas and raw carrot, all are the source of vitamin A. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in improving vision; therefore include all the three in abundance in your diet plan.
● Drink plenty of distilled water to hydrate yourself because internal dryness can affect your vision. Refrain from caffeinated drinks and coffee because they lead to toxicity and dryness.
● Take seeds of black cardamom and mix it with honey. Take this mixture daily to improve vision.
● Add almonds to your milk for strengthening the vision.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Dry and Tired Eyes:
● If you wake up with dry eyes, splash cold water on your face and eyes to refresh them. Splashing cold water on eyes is an Ayurvedic technique of keeping them clean and fresh.
● Tarpana is an Ayurvedic treatment for treating the diseases of the retina or optic nerve. Black gram dough is made around the eye and clarified butter (Ghee) is poured in the dam. The ghee is then allowed to be soaked by the eye.
● Nasya treatment is carried out to cleanse the organs of eye, nose, throat, and ears. The technique is useful for treating watery, dry, itching eyes. Conjunctivitis and Glaucoma conditions can also be treated with this treatment.
Guard the mirror of the soul, ‘Eyes’ naturally with home remedies to improve eyesight.
7 Easy, Natural Ways to Protect Your Vision
If you haven’t had an eye exam lately, that’s essential. Many eye problems, such as glaucoma, progress slowly — with vision loss unnoticed until the disease is advanced.
In addition to having regular eye exams, changing some habits and improving your diet can enhance your chance of maintaining good eyesight well into advanced age. But it’s not a slam dunk. Millions of Americans have a visual impairment; many have chronic, age-related diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and retinopathy.
Since 2000, rates of diabetic retinopathy have risen 89 percent — driven by an increase in diabetes, with 8 million people over 40 now showing signs of it. Some 2 million Americans 50 and older are affected by macular degeneration. Cataracts and glaucoma are also on the rise in people over 40. At the same time, funding for research into these diseases has been cut dramatically.
Taking care of your own eye health has never been more important. These tips from 500 Time-Tested Home Remedies and the Science Behind Them will help you do just that:
1. Go for a Daily Walk
Regular physical activity helps you stave off cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes — two risk factors for chronic eye disease.
2. Keep Your Weight in a Healthy Zone
Being overweight or obese increases inflammation and elevates the risk of high blood pressure, arterial disease, and diabetes — all enemies of the eye.
3. Wear Sunglasses
Ultraviolet light damages the eyes. The reflective power of snow, sand, and water magnifies the effects. And yes, UV penetrates clouds. Sunglasses should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVS (two bands of ultraviolet light). A hat helps, too.
4. Manage Your Blood Glucose
High blood sugar contributes to cataracts and damages small arteries, including the delicate blood vessels in the retina, leading to diabetic retinopathy.
5. Avoid Tobacco Smoke
Smoking generates free radicals (chemicals that react with membranes and genetic material to destroy cells and tissues), damages the eyes, and escalates the risk of arterial disease.
6. 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 (where cataracts form).
7. Try an Eye-Protective Diet
A varied, colorful, plant-based diet keeps eyes healthy. Plants provide fiber that slows absorption of cholesterol and sugar. And they’re rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory chemicals. Many blue-, purple-, and ruby-colored berries (bilberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and more) are potent antioxidants and blood-vessel strengtheners. A large trial called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study found that a higher intake of antioxidants, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids (the type found in fish) may decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration in those at high genetic risk.
The recipesbelow, from 500 Time-Tested Home Remedies and the Science Behind Them, will also help preserve your eye health:
Bright and Beautiful Summer Squashes
Orange, yellow, and red plants contain fat-soluble plant pigments called carotenoids that are strong antioxidants. Lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids, accumulate in the macula and seem to protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.
4 medium-size yellow summer squashes, sliced lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, sliced into rings
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the over to 425°F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil or canola cooking spray. Put the squash and bell pepper slices on the sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and toss. Line up the pieces so they are not overlapping. Sprinkle the sliced onion over the top. Grind the black pepper over the vegetables. Roast for 30 minutes, turning over the veggies halfway through. Serve hot.
Strawberries and kiwis are packed with vitamin C, another important antioxidant for eye health. Sources include all fresh plants, particularly red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, kiwifruits, green peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and tomatoes. Many of those are also rich in carotenes.
2 cups vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt
½ cup sliced strawberries
½ cup peeled and diced kiwifruit
½ cup crushed pecans
Divide the ingredients in half and layer them into two tall glasses in the following way: a layer of yogurt followed by a layer of kiwi, crushed pecans, yogurt, strawberries, crushed pecans, and a layer of yogurt. Add the remaining kiwi and strawberries on top.
The Remedy Chicks
Photo Credit: Thinkstock; Stocksy; Thinkstock
6 Home Remedies for Baggy Eyes
Your eyes are expert communicators, helping you relay your thoughts and emotions to others. But a pair of puffy peepers probably says a lot more than you intend—that you’re tired, sick or simply feeling blah. The delicate, sensitive skin around the eyes—it’s thinner here than anywhere else— is one of the first places the body shows signs of stress, in fact.
It doesn’t take much for puffiness to appear. Allergies, stress and a lack of sleep are common culprits, as they cause fluid to pool in the under-eye area, which leads to mild swelling (edema). Rubbing your eyes when they’re itchy, teary or tired doesn’t help either, since it only inflames the area more. A diet high in salt (even just one sodium-packed late-night meal) can also be to blame, since it can cause you to retain fluid.
While there are creams and even medical procedures that aim to reduce bags, there are at-home remedies that are effective, too—and a lot less expensive. These six natural solutions will not only temporarily improve the appearance of the skin under your eyes, but offer a few moments of relaxation and spa-like calm too.
A cereal spoon can come in handy for more than just eating breakfast. Chill two of them in a refrigerator for a few minutes, then lie down and place the back of each spoon over a closed eye (they’re the perfect shape for resting on your eyelid). Take a full 10 minutes to relax and let the area be soothed as the coldness constricts blood vessels; you should notice less swelling.
Grab a potato from your pantry and cut about four to six half-inch-thick slices; each should be large enough to cover the eye area. Lie down and place one slice on each eye for 10 minutes; repeat with fresh slices on each eye until under-eye puffiness has been reduced. Potatoes contain the anti-inflammatory enzyme catecholase, which can improve bagginess and diminish dark circles. Wash the area when finished and apply coconut oil. The starch from the potato will draw out toxins while the coconut oil will take away any dryness from the potato. (For those dark circles: Make a soft paste with tomato or pineapple juice, a squeeze of lemon and some baking soda. Pat under the eye and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm then cold water.)
Another breakfast helper for baggy eyes: egg whites, which work as a natural astringent to temporarily tighten swollen skin. Whisk two whites (take them directly from the fridge so your eyes can benefit from the chill, too) until smooth and gently apply them to your under-eye area with your index or middle finger. Leave on for five to 10 minutes—you may feel a tightening effect, similar to what you experience during a purifying face mask—then rinse off with lukewarm water.
Green Tea Bags
Green tea is a boon to skin: It’s packed with antioxidants that combat free radicals (which break down skin cells), plus it has anti-inflammatory properties, making it an optimal treatment for swelling. The tea’s tannins act as a gentle astringent and its caffeine constricts blood flow that causes puffiness. Soak two teabags in ice water for several minutes, then cover the under-eye area with them; wait for 15 to 20 minutes for best results.
Cold Cucumber Slices
Don’t underestimate the humble cucumber: Strategically placed, chilled slices of this refreshing veggie can help de-puff eyes with the help of its caffeic acid; the compound restricts blood vessels (as does the cold temperature). Cucumbers also contain vitamin C, which help sooth irritated skin. Keep a cuke in the fridge and, when you need to, slice up two one-half-inch pieces, lie down, apply the slices to your eye area and take a few minutes to unwind.
If you want check those (eye) bags once and for all, do what you can to stay hydrated. Though it may sound counterintuitive, drinking plenty of water is crucial for helping your body naturally flush out fluids that cause swelling. A few times a day, take a water break, or always keep a bottle close by so you can sip as you go about your business. Women should aim for about nine cups of water a day, while men should get about 13. Remember that teas, soups and fruits and vegetables also count toward your daily tally.
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Canyon Ranch® is the world’s leading lifestyle wellness brand. Since 1979, Canyon Ranch has received countless awards and accolades for its innovative approach to health and fitness, and for its serene, relaxing and inspiring spa environments. At every Canyon Ranch venue, we remain true to our healthy lifestyle goals and vision-based history.
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Anyone who has ever accidentally poked themselves in the eye can tell you that eyeballs are incredibly sensitive, which it why it makes sense to head straight to your local ophthalmologist when something seems to be wrong. In fact, that’s what you’re supposed to do! However, not every ocular condition requires immediate medical intervention. Many common ocular conditions, including pink eye, can even be treated successfully at home – all it takes is a little TLC. So before you rush to grab your keys and drive frantically down to see us at Alpine Eye Care, save yourself the gas and simply take a moment to consider the following at home remedies for simple eye problems.
Allergies are just about as common as the common cold, and can wreck havoc on your eyes. Itchy, red, watery, miserable eyes can be a result of pet dander, excessive dust, seasonal pollen, mold, and just about anything else you may be allergic to – but how do you cure it? Well the simple response is that you can’t. Allergies are a symptom of an underlying problem and the only solution is total avoidance. Unless you can find a way to eliminate every dust particle or microscopic spore, both inside and outside your home, your best chances to relieve those itchy, watery eyes are allergy medicine, artificial tears, and keeping your home as clean and allergen free as you can.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Pink eye can be caused by a virus or bacteria and is a highly contagious condition that can be passed on through both direct and indirect contact. Though pink eye, caused by a virus, will often not respond to antibiotics, medicated eye drops are the most common treatment for pink eye caused by bacteria. It’s also best, in both cases, to avoid contact with others, including sharing things such as towels, cosmetics, and other items that have been near the infected area. The most common remedies to help reduce the discomfort caused by pink eye, are to apply cool compresses to the eye, keep the area clean, and simply let it rest and heal.
Styes often look much worse than they are and go away within a week or so, however, they can get pretty uncomfortable and make you desperate for relief. The good news is that at-home treatments are super easy. All you really need to do is take a warm washcloth and lay it over the affected area until it cools. You can/should repeat this at least four times a day to allow the warm moisture to help open up the pores around the eye and release all the gunk trapped in there. You should also avoid wearing any make-up, contact lenses, or other foreign items near the affected eye, and never try to squeeze or pop the stye like a zit, it will only spread the infection.
Unless you begin to notice blurred vision, blood in your actual eye, or a complete inability to move your eye at all, a black eye is one of those things that can be successfully treated at home with nothing more than a little ice or some frozen peas. But please, do not put raw meat anywhere on or near your eye – if you can’t even eat raw meat because of all the bacteria in it then you definitely should not be putting it anywhere near your eyes no matter what the movies have led you to believe!
If at any time your symptoms get worse, do not improve within a reasonable time frame, or you merely suspect that there is something else going on, never hesitate to get professional advice from one of our trained ophthalmologists at Alpine Eye Care. Although many common conditions can be successfully treated at home, sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your visual health. If you’re looking for anything from an eye exam to a surgical procedure anywhere in Northern Michigan, schedule an appointment with Alpine Eye Care by calling us directly at 1.877.733.2020 today to learn more about our practice, read patient testimonials, and receive excellent care.