Imagine a very large number – imagine 4.2 million. That’s the number of people in the United States who are considered to be visually impaired, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
If you’re among that number, as many of us are, you likely already see your eye doctor every year for an exam and to update your glasses or contacts prescription. However, taking care of your eyes is something you should be doing every day, not just once a year.
Natural eye care shouldn’t replace medical care but is something that’s easy to incorporate into your routine for better eye health and more comfortable eyes throughout the day, especially if you wear contacts. Here’s how.
Eating a Healthy Diet Is an Easy Natural Eye Care Tip
If you were to ask your doctor how to make your eyes better, chances are they would tell you to make healthy eating an important lifestyle choice. Your peepers rely on certain vitamins and minerals that are abundant in fruits and vegetables so you should be aiming to eat a wide variety of them on a daily basis.
When it comes to the best eye vitamins for blurry vision, focus on vitamin C, vitamin E, antioxidants, and beta-carotene, all of which have been linked to a lower risk of age-related vision deficiencies. You can find these nutrients in citrus fruits as well as orange and yellow produce. Other foods that aid in good eye health include fish, nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables, eggs, and beef.
Wearing Your Glasses Every Day Is Important
This might sound like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who either forget or simply choose not to wear their glasses on a regular basis. Leaving your glasses in your pocket or on your desk leads to eye strain, which isn’t good for them.
If you plan to be outside, you should always wear sunglasses, either prescription or otherwise. This protects your eyes from UV rays, which can lead to age-related vision decline as well as corneal sunburn. Stash a pair in your car, at home, and at work so there’s always a pair on hand.
Consider Surgical Intervention for Perfect Eyesight
Sometimes, as with any other part of your body, surgery can restore good health and proper function. The same is true for your eyes.
Refractive lens exchange is a procedure to correct various vision issues, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Talk to your eye doctor to determine if you’re a candidate for the procedure as well as other natural eye care steps you can take.
Drinking Lots of Water Is Vital
Staying well hydrated protects all your body and its systems, including your vision. If your eye doctor ever asks about how good are your eyes and how much water you’re drinking, it’s because the two are closely linked.
A lack of fluid intake can lead to dry, irritated eyes, both if you wear glasses and if you wear contacts. You should aim to drink plenty of water every day, though your specific hydration needs depends on your gender, level of activity, weight and whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Green tea is also a great hydration choice because it helps prevent cataracts and damage to your eyes.
Put Down Those Cigarettes Once and For All
You clearly know the dangers of smoking cigarettes, but that doesn’t make it an easy habit to break. You already know lighting up can lead to heart disease and lung cancer, but it can also affect your vision. The smoke that comes out of cigarettes is packed with free radicals, which can destroy the cells and tissues in your eyes, leading to all sorts of eye-related diseases and problems.
Quitting smoking can be tough, but you can do it. Enlist the help of a medical professional and get lots of support from your friends and family.
Wash Your Hands Well and Often
This is advice that isn’t only good during cold and flu season. In fact, there are bacteria and viruses living on surfaces all around you during all seasons that can cause eye issues.
Some of them include pink eye and uveitis, though you can also suffer from increased allergic reactions in your eyes if you have a trigger on your hand and then touch your eyes. For that reason, it’s vitally important to wash often and especially before inserting or removing your contacts.
Use Caution When You’re Using Blue Light-Emitting Devices
Devices that utilize blue light include your smartphone, computer, tablet, and some televisions. The problem with blue light is that your eyes need certain nutrients to filter it properly and those nutrients aren’t naturally produced by your body. That means that if you are deficient or your eyes have already used up their supplies, that blue light can cause damage.
As well as eating lots of fruits and vegetables to fill your quota of those important nutrients, you should practice the 20-20-20 rule. That means that when you’re using a device, you should look at an object 20 feet away from your for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. You can also blink 20 times and get up and take 20 steps. This gives your eyes a chance to take a break, which can help protect your vision.
Wear Eye Gear for Certain Activities
You rely on having good eyes that are healthy, which means you must protect them at all times. This means that when you engage in certain activities or sports, you should be wearing protective eye gear.
That includes goggles when you go swimming to keep chlorine out of your eyes and a safety eyepiece when you’re riding a motorcycle, doing construction work, or welding. Talk to your eye doctor about getting the right gear for the activities you enjoy as well as other eye care for you, customized to your vision needs.
The Eyes Have It
Eye health is not something most people give a priority to but everybody should. It’s such a cliché but you only get one pair. Practice natural eye care as part of your regular routine to maintain your vision.
If you want to be more committed to a healthier lifestyle, we are here to help. Check out our general health pages to get started and then move onto our specific sections.