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Have you been told by your eye doctor that you need to wear glasses? It might not be a bad idea to look for ways that can improve your eyesight and make it much easier for you to get around without the help of lenses.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vision impairment, unfortunately, poses a tremendous worldwide financial burden with the yearly global expenses of productivity losses linked with visual impairment estimated to be US$ 411 billion. This amount exceeds the anticipated cost gap of $25 billion needed to satisfy the unmet demand of visual impairment. (1)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- More than 4.2 million Americans aged 40 years and older are either legally blind or have restricted vision in the eye with improved eyesight, excluding those who were designated as being blind.
- In the United States, age-related eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration are the leading contributors to blindness and visual impairment. In addition to strabismus and amblyopia, ocular disorders are very common. (2)
Few people realize just how important their eyesight is to the quality of their lives. Imagine not being able to see your own reflection in a mirror or the funny cat video that your friend just shared with you.
Fortunately, there are several home remedies that claim can improve eyesight. Some of these home remedies are substantiated by scientific evidence, while others are more anecdotal.
Home Remedies for Improving Your Eyesight
One of the most important things in your control to protect your eyesight is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining the health of your eyes requires eating a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and obtaining adequate sleep.
1. Consume eye-beneficial foods and nutrients
Eat foods high in antioxidants, such as spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Antioxidants help prevent damage to the cells in your eyes, which can enhance vision. (3)
Moreover, there are several essential nutrients that are crucial for maintaining eye health. Antioxidants including vitamins A, C, and E assist to shield your eyes from free radical damage.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial for eye health and can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines.
Fish oil supplements are another popular natural remedy for improving eyesight. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have been shown to be beneficial for vision, and taking a supplement may help improve vision in people with dry eye syndrome or age-related macular degeneration. (4)
These are some of the best foods for eye health:
- Spinach: This leafy green is packed with nutrients including lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to protect against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
- Salmon: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to better vision and reduced risk of dry eye syndrome.
- Eggs: Another excellent source of lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin A — all of which are crucial for eye health — is eggs.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds contain zinc, another nutrient essential for healthy eyesight. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all especially good choices.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are one of the best home remedies to improve eyesight. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E, which are crucial for healthy vision. (3) Eat a fistful of blueberries every day or drink blueberry juice to improve your eyesight.
- Green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables are a great way to improve your eyesight. They are filled with nutrients that are indispensable for healthy eyes, including vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Eat a variety of green leafy vegetables every day to give your eyes the nourishment they need to stay healthy and sharp.
- Vitamin C-rich foods: Citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, and broccoli all contribute to healthy eyes.
- Fish oil: Fish oil is a natural remedy that is known to improve eyesight. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have been shown to improve vision and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in older adults. Fish oil supplements are available freely and can be taken daily to improve eyesight. (5)
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities, both of which are advantageous for enhancing vision. Coconut oil can help to reduce inflammation in the eye area and also kill bacteria that can cause infections. (6)
Including these foods in your diet is a simple and delicious way to give your eyes the nutrients they need to stay healthy and function at their best. (3)
2. Ensure adequate magnesium levels
Magnesium is an essential mineral for the human body and plays a vital role in many biochemical processes, including over 300 enzyme reactions. It is involved in energy production, DNA and RNA synthesis, cell signaling, and muscle contraction.
Poor vision and magnesium deficiency have both been related to a number of health issues. (7)
3. Perform eye exercises
One easy exercise is to sit comfortably and spend 30 seconds concentrating on something in front of you. Then, look at something else that is far away for 30 seconds. Repeat this process several times per day.
If you spend a lot of time staring at screens, it’s important to take breaks often and give your eyes a rest. The 20-20-20 rule suggests taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to stare at something 20 feet away. This will lessen eye strain and maintain the health of your eyes.
Here are some simple eye exercises you can practice at home:
- Palming: Rub your hands together until they are warm. Place your palms over your closed eyes and relax for a few minutes.
- Eye rolls: Look up to the ceiling and roll your eyes clockwise. Repeat this several times. Then, roll your eyes in a counterclockwise direction.
- Side-to-side gaze: Sit up straight and look ahead of you. Gaze from one side to the other without moving your head. Repeat this several times.
- Blinking: Blink rapidly for 30 seconds or more. This helps in refreshing and lubricating your eyes.
4. Sleep well
Finally, make sure you’re getting enough sleep! Sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being, and it’s also important for maintaining healthy vision. Most people need around 7–8 hours of sleep per night. (10)
Vitamin A and Eyesight
For your vision, vitamin A is crucial. For your retina to work properly and for you to see the full spectrum of light, your eye needs to produce certain pigments.
A lack of vitamin A prevents the synthesis of these pigments, which causes night blindness, or the inability to see clearly in dimly lit areas. (11)
Vitamin A is also required by the eye to nourish the cornea and other components of the eye. Your eyes can’t create enough moisture to keep them adequately moisturized without enough vitamin A.
Vitamin A deficiency is the most prevalent preventable cause of juvenile blindness worldwide. Every year, between 250,000 and 500,000 children are estimated to lose their vision due to vitamin A deficiency. Within a year of losing their vision, half of these children pass away. (12)
Vitamin A deficiency in pregnant and nursing women causes night blindness due to immune system damage and may raise the chance of maternal mortality. This also increases the risk of dying from diarrhea, measles, and malaria. (13)
Like with other vitamins, take vitamin A under a doctor’s supervision to prevent hypervitaminosis.
Prevention Against Eyesight and Vision Troubles
It is extremely important to see an ophthalmologist as soon as you notice that your vision is deteriorating if you want to prevent eye disorders. It is also advised that you see an ophthalmologist if you have diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol. (14)
There are many different home remedies that you can try to improve your eyesight. Some of these home remedies are more effective than others, but they all have the potential to improve your vision.
If you are looking for a natural way to improve your eyesight, then these home remedies are definitely worth trying. Moreover, screening in schools is important to ensure healthy eyes from childhood.