Don’t wait to learn how to improve vision until you’re noticing changes. By learning more about what affects your eyesight, you can also discover ways to keep your eyes healthy and clear with a strong vision.
Although our experts at Healthy Directions don’t focus only on eye health, many of the elements are the same as those needed to maintain and optimize your overall health.
We’ll discuss those elements in detail, so you can leave confident that you know exactly how to take care of your eyes moving forward.
Can Vision Be Tied to Diet?
There are very few facets of health that exist independently from what we choose to put in our bodies. Likewise, any conversation about how to improve vision needs to include diet and especially micronutrients.
While vitamins and minerals are likely not going to make a significant change in general eye health, a few are linked specifically to macular health.
Vitamins A, C, and E contain antioxidants to help nourish the macula (which controls central vision), as does the mineral zinc. You can get these micronutrients through a healthy diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables or supplement it with an eye-focused vitamin.
Alongside micronutrients, there is one additional component to try to focus on — carotenoids. Carotenoids are famous for giving plants their color (beta-carotene is the most well-known example), and two, in particular, are tied to eye health.
Increasing the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in your diet by eating more leafy greens like kale or spinach, vegetables, zucchini, and broccoli helps protect the macula and potentially absorb ultraviolet light.
Other foods that support your vision include:
- Carrots, which contain vitamin E
- Sweet potatoes
- Oranges, which provide vitamin C
- Salmon and mackerel
- Almonds and flaxseed, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids
Exercise Your Eyes
The entire body can benefit from exercise, from head to toe. The eyes are no different, and having the correct exercises to use can help you keep your eyes strong and healthy.
One way you can do this is by blinking more frequently. This gives your eyes a break while also helping to keep them moisturized and reducing eye strain.
Take Frequent Breaks
Another way to learn how to improve your vision while simultaneously reducing your eye strain is by taking frequent breaks. More specifically, many eye care professionals recommend following something known as the 20/20/20 rule.
If you regularly work in front of a computer, this is especially helpful. For every 20 minutes you are working, take an “eye break” for 20 seconds. During those 20 seconds, find an object 20 feet away and focus on it.
This allows your eyes to readjust on something further away, both strengthening them and helping to reduce the potential for eye strain.
In addition to the blue light and eye strain associated with looking at a computer all day, the overhead lights can also be detrimental to the health of your eyes.
While you’re taking your break, consider getting outside and going for a quick walk. A little fresh air and natural sunlight do the body and the eyes good. Plus, exercise can keep your blood vessels strong, including the small ones located in your eyes.
In addition to looking stylish, sunglasses play an important role in eye health. But not just any sunglasses can help maintain your vision. You need to look for a few components to ensure that you are protecting your eyesight as much as you can.
First, and perhaps most importantly, any sunglasses you wear should protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation. This is the same ultraviolet radiation that causes the skin to burn in the sun. These potent rays can damage not only the skin but also the critical structures that allow us to see (the lens, the cornea, etc.).
When purchasing sunglasses, look for options that offer UVA and UVB protection and block out most visible light. It’s a common misconception that sunglasses have to be dark to work well, but it’s more about how well they can protect your eyes from UV radiation and not how dark the lenses are. They don’t need to be expensive to be effective.
Look Into Family History
Like many health issues, certain eye diseases and conditions can have a genetic component. Learning more about your family history, especially your immediate family (parents, siblings, and grandparents), can help you know what to look out for.
Regular eye exams can also work to spot an issue before it becomes untreatable, especially since certain issues can lead to complications like astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness.
Some of the potentially hereditary eye conditions to ask your family or eye doctor about include:
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Optic atrophy
- Retinal degeneration
Some DNA testing services may also test for some of these health-related concerns, so if you don’t have a way to find out your family’s genetic history from them, you still have options.
This should go without saying, but if you are a smoker, it is vital that you work on quitting altogether. Smoking is not just bad for your lungs; it can also negatively impact your vision.
In particular, tobacco smoke may increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. The good news is that your body, including your eyes, starts to heal even mere hours after you quit.
Remember, not everyone can quit cold turkey… and that’s ok! Getting help to quit smoking can ensure that the process goes more smoothly and has a higher likelihood of becoming more long-term.
Protecting your eye health is essential, so developing an awareness of how to improve your vision can help you be more proactive. With the information provided by the experts at Healthy Directions, you can take control of your health and keep your eyes safe.
Maintaining your eye health requires many of the same elements that taking care of your overall health does. Eating the right foods, exercising your eyes, and looking into your family history can help you keep your vision sharp and your eyes healthy for as long as you can.