Our eyesight is probably the most abused resource in the human body. Since most of our work is done in devices such as computers (desktop and laptops) and handheld mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) with on-the-go Internet connectivity, there is rarely a time where one can fully rest their eyes. The portability of these devices interferes with the time-out our eyes need since they can access the Internet anytime, anywhere, even in the privacy of one’s bedroom.
The improper management of our eyesight could lead to poor vision, and that’s an ailment everyone would like to avoid. That isn’t something you can remedy with medicine, unlike medicine for headache and fever. But not to worry, here are 10 proven ways to improve your eyesight even further.
There are certain foods you can eat to improve your eyesight. Vegetables like carrots and pumpkins are your eyes’ best friends for life! Studies show that these contain vitamin A, which boosts eyesight. This is good motivation for you to switch from carbonated drinks and instant cup noodle meals to carrot juice and pumpkin soup.
You can also take supplements to improve your eyesight. Lutein, also known as the eye vitamin, has been found successful in minimizing the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma.
2) Wear glasses
If your vision is blurry, then it’s time for you to get a pair of bifocals or – as we commonly know them – eyeglasses. Be sure to check with your eye doctor if you’re near-sighted (meaning you can only see objects that are within proximity) or far-sighted (meaning you can only see objects that are beyond your field of vision). Getting the diagnosis right means getting the right prescription for your glasses. And it’s very important to get the right prescription because the wrong one will worsen your eyes’ condition.
3) LASIK eye surgery
This procedure involves the use of lasers to correct vision problems such as hyperopia (far-sightedness), myopia (near-sightedness), and astigmatism. As with number 2, consult with your optometrist whether to consider LASIK surgery as an option or not. For all you know, your condition is not that extreme that you only need corrective lenses to remedy it, and not LASIK.
Yes, you heard that right. Exercise. Your eyes are muscles too, so they need physical activity to keep them in top shape. One exercise you can do, according to Dr. Mao Shing Ni, is to roll your eyes clockwise 10 times, and then counter-clockwise 10 times. She also advises to take short naps where you close your eyes for 3 minutes and just relax. This keeps your eyes revitalized and ready to take another hour or so of dizzying computer screen graphics and bright lights.
Sleep of 8 hours – the 9 pm to 5 am kind, not the 1 am to 9 am kind – is the proper time to give your eyes a chance to rest, regenerate, and heal. Dr. Mao recommends this amount of time because, according to her, lack of sleep may further weaken one’s vision.
6) Take breaks
We’ve gotten so used to working long hours that we seldom notice the time ticking by. Sometimes, we go for hours on end working in front of our devices before we ever take a break. Research shows, though, that the longest we should be working is anywhere between 2 to 3 hours straight. Once you’ve hit that, you should take a 15 minute break to rest your eyes.
Set an alarm on your smartphone or computer to go off every 2 hours. Once the alarm goes off, try to avoid looking at any electronic device or text. Help your eyes relax by focusing on something green, which is the most soothing color for our eyes.
7) Always Have Good Lighting
Did your parents ever get mad at you when you were growing up for reading in the dark? Well, turns out they were right about this one! Reading in poor lighting conditions, such as in the dark or even in dimly lit rooms, gives your eyes a more difficult time processing the information it is seeing.
The best setting is by a large window where natural light flows in. If you don’t have access to one, you can buy natural light emulating bulbs for your desk lamp. Make sure the light is either coming from above your head or behind you, not in front of your eyes!
8) Eye exercises
Yes, there are eye exercises that can improve your eyesight! Best of all, you can do these during your break, while seated on the toilet, waiting for the coffee to brew – basically whenever you have 2 minutes to spare!
The first exercise requires you to focus on an object that’s 1-2 meters away for 10-15 seconds. Then, focus on an object that’s slightly farther away for the next 10-15 seconds. Repeat these two steps at least 3 times each to complete the exercise.
Another eye exercise you can do is to draw shapes with your gaze while keeping both eyes open. Start with simple shapes like a circle, square, or triangle. As you get used to this exercise, you can start drawing more complicated shapes like a heart, star, or pentagon.
9) Quit smoking
Or better yet, don’t ever start. Smoking has been linked to an increased link of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage.
10) Cut down on sugar
You probably never thought about sugar being a factor in your eyesight. Sadly, around 2.5 million Filipinos today have diabetes, and one of the most common side effects caused by it is blindness. Watching what you eat and limiting your sugar intake can prevent you from going down this same path.