✓ Evidence Based

How to Improve Eyesight: 12 Natural Ways

The eyes tell more than words could ever say. They help us experience the world, taking in tons of information like colors, movements, shapes, and more, so our brains can process this data and act on that. They are like windows to the outside world.

Our eyes are at work from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. Unfortunately, most of the time, we take them for granted.

Eyesight can deteriorate with age, but there are also other health conditions that can contribute.

Ways to Improve Eyesight

So, how do you take care of your eyes and improve your eyesight? Let’s talk about 12 ways to improve your eyesight and vision.

1. Visit your eye doctor regularly

The best protection is prevention. So, don’t skip your regular eye exams, even if you are certain your eyesight is fine.

A routine eye exam can be the best way to find any hidden or developing diseases that can affect your vision in the long term. For example, glaucoma has no symptoms. However, if not spotted early on, it can lead to blindness.

But what eye doctors should you visit regularly? There are two types.

First of all, there are ophthalmologists who specialize in eye care, meaning they will provide general eye care, treat any diseases or perform surgery when needed.

Then there are optometrists who can only provide general eye care, diagnose and treat some eye conditions. However, they don’t do eye surgery.

If you’ve never done an eye exam before, this is what you should expect:

  • discussing personal and family medical history
  • vision tests
  • checking how well your eyes work together
  • eye pressure and optic nerve tests
  • microscopic examination after dilation

So, an eye exam will not improve your eyesight per se, but it will keep you out of trouble. It’s the first step towards better eyesight.

 

2. Check your family history

This is another prevention method that can help you steer clear of any eye health-related issues.

Some eye diseases run in families, so it is better to ask about your family’s eye health history. By knowing that, you can take certain precautions. Some eye health conditions that run in families are:

  • macular degeneration related to age
  • optic neuropathies
  • glaucoma
  • cataracts
  • myopia

Just don’t be mad at your family for these. It happens and it’s better to be aware of it.

3. Wash your hands regularly

We usually get into the habit of rubbing our eyes with our hands, which can get quite dangerous.

Our hands can carry lots of germs, and rubbing our eyes can lead to infections, from pink eye to worse. With good hygiene, you can mitigate this risk. However, it is best to think twice before rubbing your eyes at all. Depending on the severity, some eye infections can really affect your eyesight. So, if you want to keep your eyes sharp, stop rubbing them so much.

4. Wear sunglasses

Sunglasses are pretty important for the health of your eyes. Although people consider them a mere accessory, they are actually more than that.

Wearing sunglasses is, in fact, one of the most important ways of improving your eyesight. Their primary function is not a fashion statement; it’s protecting you from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Prolonged exposure to the scorching sun can weaken your eyesight.

Sunglasses can also protect your eyes from more serious conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts. When picking sunglasses, make sure you check their protection level. They should be able to block out 99% of the UVA and UVB radiation. Looking cool is not enough.

5. Quit smoking

Smoking is the usual suspect when it comes to lung or heart disease. However, many people don’t realize the damaging effects smoking has on eyesight.

Studies show that smoking increases the risk of age-related cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or dry eye syndrome. That’s quite a long list of eye conditions for you to keep smoking, isn’t it?

Research shows that smokers are three to four times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration. On top of that, heavy smokers who smoke more than 15 cigarettes per day are three times more likely to develop cataracts than nonsmokers.

As for glaucoma, studies proved a strong association between smoking and high blood pressure, cataracts and diabetes. All of the three can lead to glaucoma.

What is more, smoking is a risk factor for diabetes. People with diabetes should also quit smoking; otherwise, they’ll have a hard time managing the disease. Dry eye syndrome is twice as likely to affect smokers than nonsmokers.

So, quit smoking if you want to improve your eyesight and overall health! You can do it!

6. Add more almonds to your diet

Almonds are loaded with vitamin E, which is known to slow down macular degeneration and contribute to healthy eyes. Patients with cataracts are advised to take vitamin E supplements to protect against cell damage.

Almonds are also rich in protein, and that can help repair tissue and protect against saggy eyes. The manganese in almonds also helps fight free radicals, while the phosphorus and riboflavin contribute to better nerve health and less blurred vision.

What is more, almonds are a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for improving eyesight, memory, and concentration.

7.  Reduce screen time and take regular breaks

Looking at screens for hours on end can cause lots of trouble for your eyes. Work in sessions and take regular breaks. Look away from the computer screen to protect your eyes against dry eye syndrome, blurry vision, headaches, and back, shoulder, or neck pain.

So, if your job requires you to spend long hours in front of your laptop, try wearing computer glasses. Adjust your screen, so your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. Try to opt for anti-glare screens and ergonomic chairs that will support you for the whole working session.

When you’re looking at a computer screen for hours on end, you will forget to blink. So, if your eyes start to feel dry, use artificial tears.

More important than everything is to rest your eyes and hydrate properly. Every 20 minutes, take your eyes away from the screen and look outside the window, in the distance. If you want, you could practice the 20-20-20 rule. So, every 20 minutes, you stop staring at the computer and look at something 20 feet away from you, for 20 seconds.

Get up from your chair every 2 hours and take a 15-minute break in between.

If you do these, not only will you protect your eyes, but your focus and performance will improve, and you will feel better working in front of your computer.

8. Get your recommended dose of carotenoids

Carotenoids are a class of phytonutrients that are found in the cells of a wide variety of plants. They are basically the pigments that give certain vegetables their bright yellow, red, or orange color.

According to a 2013 scientific review, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are crucial for eye health as they also promote good eyesight.

So, to get your recommended dose of lutein and zeaxanthin, you might want to increase your consumption of green, leafy vegetables. Supplements are also a great idea. You can easily find supplements of lutein and zeaxanthin online or in pharmacies.

9. Check your health regularly

By “health”, we don’t mean only eye health. Certain chronic conditions can lead to poor eyesight or even loss of vision. Diabetes is one of them.

High blood pressure and multiple sclerosis can also affect your eyesight. You can treat high blood pressure with a good diet, exercise and even antihypertensive medication.

Avoid any type of chronic inflammation, as it can spell trouble for your eyes. For example, the inflammation of the optic nerve can cause severe pain and even vision loss. If you can’t prevent diseases such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis, you should at least manage them by keeping healthy habits and sticking to specific medications.

10. Reduce alcohol consumption

Alcohol can weaken the muscles in your eye, causing permanent damage to the optic nerves, which could severely interrupt the interaction between the brain and your eyes. This will result in migraines, light sensitivity and blurry vision.

In time, alcohol can cause permanent loss of vision and blindness. So, if you want to improve your eyesight naturally, cut down on your alcohol consumption.

11. Eat more blueberries

Blueberries have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and collagen-stabilizing effects, which promote eye function and health. Adding blueberries to your diet can improve eyesight by strengthening the blood vessels in the back of your eyes.

Blueberries are also rich in anthocyanins which help lower blood pressure and fight against chronic inflammation in the body. Your arteries will be protected from blockages and thus feed enough oxygen to the retina.

Besides, blueberries are delicious. You can snack on them at all times.

12. Keep a healthy and balanced diet

At the end of the day, you feel as good as you eat. Eye health and good eyesight start with the food on your plate.

Your eyes are put to work 12 to 18 hours per day, so feed them the nutrients, Omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins they need.

Your diet should contain enough green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards. You should also eat a fair share of salmon and tuna. Don’t forget about eggs, beans, and nuts. Citrus fruits and juices will provide the vitamin C and E your eyes need.

Drink lots of water and green tea. First of all, you need to stay hydrated so your eyes won’t dry. Secondly, you need all the flavonoids you can get to fight free radicals, which can cause many eye diseases.

Your mom was right when she kept telling you to eat your carrots. They are rich in beta-carotene, which helps maintain a healthy and clear cornea, protecting the cells in your eyes. What is more, carrots are rich in lutein, and we’ve seen how vital that phytonutrient is for your eyesight.

Conclusion

So, if you want to have strong eyes, you’ve got to prevent unwanted accidents, keep your eyes well-rested and away from germs and infections, and give them the nutrients and vitamins they need for proper function.

Don’t forget to check your eye health regularly. Prevention is better than treatment. Until the next one, keep your eyes on health. That’s the prize!