More than ever, we are using our eyes to stare at small type and images on computer screens, televisions, and cell phones – which leads to eye fatigue and an increase in age-related eye problems. But diminished eyesight does not have to be an inevitable part of living long. Follow these three tips to sharpen your own vision so you can see your way to a future of longevity.
Eat for Bright Eyesight
Protect your peepers with a vision-ary diet! Our eyes require multiple nutrients to function optimally. Start with these:
- Vitamins A, C, E, and minerals like copper and zinc are essential to eyesight.
- Antioxidants, including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, protect the macula from sun damage. Get these antioxidants from dark leafy greens, egg yolks, yellow peppers, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Notice any color patterns here? Current research shows that consuming yellow and green vegetables can help prevent age-related macular generation, a leading cause of blindness.
- Foods rich in sulfur, cysteine, and lecithin help protect the lens of your eye from cataract formation. Excellent choices include garlic, onions, shallots, and capers.
- Anthocyanin-rich blueberries, grapes, and goji berries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help improve your vision.
- DHA is a fatty acid found in coldwater fish like wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, and cod. DHA provides structural support to cell membranes to boost eye health.
Exercise Your Eyes
These simple exercises will help you maintain optimal vision and may also keep those annoying eye floaters at bay. Perform these exercises first thing in the morning, before bedtime, or any time your eyes feel fatigued. Make sure that your hands are clean and that your mood is relaxed. Commit to daily practice and you may just see better results within one month.
- Warm your eyes. Rub your palms together to create heat, and then place them against your eyes for five seconds. Repeat this three times.
- Roll your eyes. Start by looking up and then slowly circle 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise.
- Focus. Hold a pen at arm’s length, focus your eyes on it, and slowly bring the pen closer until it’s about 6 inches away from your nose. Then slowly move it back, keeping your eyes focused on the pen, 10 times in all.
- Massage your temples. Using your thumb knuckles, massage your temples in small circles, 20 times in one direction and 20 in the other. Repeat the same actions above the mid-point of the eyebrows at the forehead, then below the eyes on both sides of the bridge of the nose.
- Take a mini-nap. Put your head back, close your eyes, and relax for 3 minutes.
Give Your Eyes Some R&R
- Getting enough sleep is essential for eye health. Sleep allows your eyes to fully rest, repair, and recover. Insufficient sleep may weaken your vision, so shoot for 8 hours of sound sleep a night.
- Give your eyes a break once an hour during your workday: Rest your eyes 10 minutes for every 50 minutes spent reading or in front of the computer. If your eyes feel overly tired, lie down and place cooling cucumber slices over your eyelids.
Blog written by Mao Shing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., PhD
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, bestselling author of Secrets of Longevity, is a 38th-generation doctor of Chinese medicine
This article was originally published in The Dr. Oz Show