Some of us are lucky enough to be born with near-perfect vision. These individuals will go through life never needing to wear glasses. Others aren’t so lucky and must shell out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every year for contact lenses, reading glasses, bifocals, designer frames—you name it.
When you’re tired of poking yourself in the eye while trying to put in your contacts while half-asleep, consider these five tips that may help you improve your eyesight naturally—or, at the very least, help protect your peepers from deteriorating any further.
Since exercising your muscles makes you stronger, it makes sense that exercising your eyes will help them remain in tip-top shape. When your eyes begin to feel fatigued, perform these exercises to help wake them up and regain your focus:
- Rolling: Look up, and then circle your eyes slowly 10 times in each direction.
- Focusing: Grab a pen, hold it at arm’s length and focus on it. Slowly bring it towards you until it’s about six inches away, then slowly move it back to arm’s length. Repeat this 10 times.
- Warming: Create heat by rubbing your palms together, then place them over your eyes for five seconds. Do this three times to help replenish your eyesight.
In much the same way that eating healthy foods will help you maintain a healthy weight, eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help preserve your eyesight for longer. Eyes need certain nutrients in order to work at their peak performance. Garlic, onions, shallots, and capers all contain sulfur, lecithin, and cysteine—all of which help your eyes to function properly. Other nutrients needed for healthy eyes include vitamins A, C, and E; minerals like copper and zinc; antioxidants like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin; and DHA fatty acids found in coldwater fish. Eat a good variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains for optimal eye health.
Sometimes, it’s just not practical to get your fill of fruits and veggies throughout the day. And even if you do eat a relatively healthy diet, supplements can help provide you with those vitamins and minerals you might be lacking. For good eyesight, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, selenium, calcium, folic acid, lutein, thiamin, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, alpha lipoic acid, and N-acetyl cysteine. Most health food stores should carry a vitamin containing all of these nutrients and more.
A massage feels incredible on tired, sore muscles—and it feels just as good on tired, sore eyes. Starting at your temples, massage slowly in small circles 20 times in each direction. Moving onto the mid-point of your eyebrows and then underneath your eyes on either side of the bridge of your nose, repeat the motion. Not only will this feel good after a particularly long day, but it’ll help sharpen your eyesight enough to get you through the day until bedtime.
Sleep and rest
Just like food and drink, our bodies can’t function properly without enough sleep. After a series of all-nighters, your eyesight is bound to suffer. Make sleeping seven to eight hours per night a priority. On those days where that’s just not going to happen, take a 20-minute catnap when you can. If you feel your eyes starting to strain during the workday, take a break to help your eyes recover. A good rule of thumb is 10 minutes of eye rest for every 50 minutes spent in front of a computer screen or reading.