Improve Eye Health Naturally

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August is National Eye Exam Month. It serves as an excellent reminder to get our eyes checked and also to care for them throughout the year.

I have a long history of eye issues, from nearsightedness and astigmatism to ocular migraines and retinal bleeds. Gratefully, my eye health continues to improve with a plant based lifestyle.

You can improve eye health naturally too, with these easy to implement tips.

Improve Eye Health Naturally title meme

Ways to Improve Eye Health Naturally

Regular eye exams are an important way to monitor eye health and note any changes. And approximately 75% of adults need vision correction in the form of contact lenses or glasses.

Your ophthalmologist needs to know your family’s eye health history as well. Certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and optic atrophy, are hereditary.

Check out these other ways of improving eye health.

Eat a Nutrient Rich Diet

Add plenty of nutrient rich, colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet. These foods provide vitamins A, C and E and contain antioxidants that help prevent macular degeneration, a condition in which central vision deteriorates. The mineral zinc is important too.

Add these foods to meals throughout the week:

  • carrots
  • red bell peppers
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • strawberries and other berries
  • sweet potatoes
  • citrus fruits

Flax seeds are an important addition, especially to a plant based diet. They provide omega-3 fatty acids, which help improve eye health.

Leafy green vegetables, broccoli and zucchini supply lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids important to retinal health. These are available as supplements as well.

Improve Eye Health Naturally carrots
Improve eye health naturally with nutrient rich foods such as carrots.

Protect Eyes with Protective Wear

Whether you are working with tools, performing science experiments, mowing the yard or playing sports, protect eyes with appropriate eyewear.

Choose protective, shatterproof goggles to keep foreign objects, chemicals or sharp objects from entering the eyes.

Wear Sunglasses

Shades do more than make us look cool, they block up to 99% of UVA and UVB radiation from sunlight. Sunglasses protect the eyes from damage that can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium, a condition in which tissue grows over the whites of the eyes.

Wearing a wide brimmed hat also shields the eyes from too much sun.

Improve Eye Health Naturally sunglasses
Improve eye health naturally with sunglasses.

Keep Hands Clean

This year our awareness increased greatly concerning the importance of clean hands. Because we frequently touch our faces and rub our eyes, clean hands prevent introducing germs, viruses and infections into the eyes.

Always wash hands before touching the eyes or handling contact lenses. Germs on contact lenses can lead to bacterial infections in the eyes. Change lens solution daily. And never share lenses.

Toss out old bottles of eye drops as well.

Don’t Smoke

We know smoking harms our health, and that includes eye health as well. Smokers greatly increase their risks for developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Smoking also creates inflammation throughout the blood vessels within the eyes.

However, just like the lungs, the eyes begin to heal almost immediately, once smoking ceases. For better eye health and health in general, stop smoking.

Improve Eye Health Naturally no smoking
Stop smoking to improve eye health naturally.

Stay Fit

Maintaining a healthy weight not only improves overall health, it helps the eyes. Type 2 diabetes, which is more common in overweight people, can damage the small blood vessels in the eyes.

Consuming too much sugar can create diabetic retinopathy, which causes the small arteries in the retina to leak blood into the eye, impairing vision.

Take Frequent Screen Time Breaks

Staring at a phone or computer screen for long periods of time creates eye strain and blurred vision. To ease the strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule.

For every 20 minutes of screen time, stop and look at an object 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. (I’ve practiced this multiple times while typing this post!)

Improve Eye Health Naturally screen time
Take frequent breaks from screen time, to improve eye health naturally.

Manage Inflammation

Diseases other than diabetes affect eye health as well. High blood pressure and autoimmune disorders, which are linked to chronic inflammation, create problems throughout the body, including the eyes.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet and limit gluten and dairy products. They aggravate and increase inflammation.

And manage stress, as it triggers an inflammatory response in the body. Try exercise, yoga, meditation, gardening, walking or deep breathing to lower stress. Drink herbal tea as part of your stress busting practice as well.

Pay Attention to Changes

And finally, pay attention to any changes in eye health and vision.

Experiencing frequent headaches or blurry vision? Feeling pain behind one eye or noticing an increase in floaters? These are signals that you need to see an eye doctor.

Years ago, I began experiencing flashing lights followed by a loss of vision for about 30 minutes. The first time it happened, I ended up in the ER with a suspected stroke. Many tests and MRIs ruled out blood clots and tumors. Finally an eye specialist determined the cause….ocular migraines.

I saw the same specialist when blood vessels in my retinas ruptured, in each eye on two different occasions.

Know what is normal for your eyes and vision and see a doctor immediately if something changes.

Improve Eye Health Naturally pain
Pay attention to any changes in eye health, such as blurred vision or pain.

Improved Eye Health

Switching to a plant based lifestyle improved my eye health and vision drastically.

I still wear contact lenses, however I no longer have astigmatism. And at age 62, I do not require bifocals, much to my eye doctor’s surprise. I wore reading glasses for a very short time, thinking I “needed” them, until I realized they gave me headaches. A year ago I stopped wearing them and haven’t put them on since.

The blood vessels in my retinas have not ruptured again and in the last four years I’ve only experienced two ocular migraines. Before going plant based, I had them multiple times a year.

Iridology Reading

And amazingly, a couple of years ago I received an iridology reading at a local health fair. In case you are unfamiliar with that, an iridologist utilizes lights, magnifying glasses, mirrors and cameras to examine the iris. He or she looks for irregularities, changes and pigment patterns to determine the health of the individual.

The iridologist studied my right eye and then laughed in amazement. He said my iris showed him that I recently changed my diet and that my body benefited greatly. I verified that information. He showed me, in a magnifying mirror, evidence that sciatic nerves healed and inflammation cleared up and healing occurred in multiple ways. With a grin, he said I possessed the clearest, healthiest eyes he’d seen all day and commended me for my health changes. His encouragement made me smile.

You can improve eye health naturally, too. Include the above practices in your life and see, literally, the difference they make.

Improve Eye Health Naturally my eyes
I improved my eye health. You can too.

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I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

50 thoughts on “Improve Eye Health Naturally”

  1. Fantastic tips and advice! I have had vision problems for years! I’m going to give your tips a try, as I’m aging it seems to be getting worse! Thank you

    1. I did not know that either until I began experiencing improvements AFTER switching to a plant based lifestyle. My eye doctor has been amazed. He actually said “Well I’ll be damned…” on my last visit. He couldn’t believe I’ve had such positive changes.

  2. Great post. I think sometimes people forget about the eyes and it is so important to take care of yourself what ever age you are. Thank you for sharing this natural information!

  3. I had no clue that switching to a plant based diet helped with eye health. I have recently switched to a plant based diet and am loving it so far.

  4. I just experienced a really bad eye strain. I found eye exercise helped a lot. I now do them several times per day. Thanks for sharing all of this additional information that I was not aware of but can certainly use now.

  5. Fascinating! I had lasik done many years ago and have also had ocular migraines. I do try to eat a nutrient-rich diet and take care of myself otherwise. I want to take care of my eyes!

  6. Thank you for this information! Bad eyes run in our family, so I’m always interested to learn what we can be doing to help improve our vision.

  7. This was very interesting and informative. I spent many years in eye care early on and had not heard most of this. Way before plant based diets gained traction, but I like the 20/20/20 tip also!

  8. Awesome advice and tips! My eyes have changed so much since turning 40… but my doctor says they are healthy! Will look into some of your tips further for sure!

  9. That is cool that he could tell you made changes! My vision started getting better at age 27 and every year I go to the eye doctor he says my vision has improved!

  10. Great suggestions. I actually gave myself eye damage from the sun – though wearing sunglasses, the sun here can be brutal and I was doing a lot of driving unfortunately into the sun. But all healed now but pretty impressive. So this is a great post to keep your eyes healthy. Thanks.

  11. I recently learned from my doctor the affects on my eyes of not wearing sunglasses. I had no idea! Now I have my kids wearing them as well. And being on a plant-based diet, I eat flaxseeds daily to get those omega-3s. I haven’t had an eye exam in years though. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get one!

  12. wow, cool info!
    I’m so excited that, after being near-sighted and astigmatic since 3rd grade, this year I had cataracts removed from both eyes, and am now at least 20/20. What a relief!

  13. So many great ideas! It’s important to protect our eyes. I have to wear sunglasses now, my eyes are so sensitive to the bright sun.

  14. Health from within. YES! Isn’t it amazing what an Iridologist can determine? The eyes are truly windows to the soul. Thank you for your great suggestions for eye health!

  15. I have one eye that sometimes waters spontaneously. The only thing that has helped (not the eye drops from the optometrist, btw) is reducing the inflammatory foods in my diet, so glad you mentioned that here.

  16. This is amazing!! I have horrible eyesight and lately it’s changing! I wondered if it was due to my lifestyle change to cleaner eatting?!?! Thank you for all this information!

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