It’s no secret that we spend more time in the dark these days. Especially if you live in the north, it’s much more difficult to leave work before the sun sets. As winter deepens, we all start turning our porch lights on earlier. However, even that extra bit of artificial light may not be enough to help you see clearly. If you struggle with night vision, this time of year can be difficult. Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to build better night vision.
What Causes Poor Night Vision?
Many factors contribute to poor night vision, especially as we get older. As we age, the incidence of eye problems increases dramatically due to free-radical damage. Smoking, poor nutrition, and exposure to ultraviolet light all contribute to free-radicals, so as you spend more time being exposed to these dangers, your eyes experience more damage. But, hold up: what exactly are free radicals?
To understand free radicals, we need to think back to our high school chemistry classes. Do you remember learning about atomic strucure, where you would need to draw the correct number of electrons around an atom’s nucleus, depending on which element it was? Well, free radicals are molecules with an electron missing, thus making them very unstable. Molecules tend to try to stabilize free radicals when they come into contact with them. This produces a chain reaction that damages the cells’ structures, known as oxidation. Therefore, ensuring that our diet contains enough antioxidants is one way to fight against free radicals and oxidative damage.
So, how do free radicals affect the eyes? Free radicals interfere with the proteins in the eye and cause them to clump. They also cause damage to the enzymes that are responsible for removing damaged proteins from the eyes. This results in cataracts and clouded vision. And, not in the least, poor night vision.
Antioxidants for Better Night Vision
We need antioxidants in our system because they protect our cells from oxidative damage. The molecules in antioxidants intercept the chain reaction set off by free radicals. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA), an antioxidant, is thought to be a powerful weapon in the battle against oxidative stress. ALA helps to deactivate a wide array of cell-damaging free radicals in many bodily systems. Plus, it makes other antioxidants more effective. Many issues with our vision are affected by free radicals. Antioxidants can help prevent age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
We’ve talked about this powerful superfood many times before. Bilberries are considered to improve night vision because of their rhodopsin content. In fact, British fighter pilots ate bilberry jam during World War II to improve their night vision. Rhodopsin is the purple pigment in the eyes’ rods. It’s extremely sensitive to light, so it alerts the rest of the eye to quickly adjust to the new lighting. Consuming bilberries ensures the eyes have enough rhodopsin to adjust effectively to low lighting. Plus, they help to prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in Americans, for those 65 or older.
Copper gluconate is an important blood antioxidant. It helps to keep your blood circulation healthy and aids the production of red blood cells which produce hemoglobin. Since your blood carries oxygen and other important nutrients, this process is crucial. Poor blood circulation causes decreased oxygen delivery to parts of your body, including your eyes. So over time, vision loss can occur. Consuming copper gluconate helps your blood stay healthy and circulate optimally.
Ancient Greeks used an antioxidant herb named eyebright to treat eye irritations. Its antibiotic and astringent properties tighten membranes and mucus surrounding the eyes. Besides improving circulation, eyebright contains tannins, which reduce inflammation. This herb has long been used to help with a myriad of vision problems. It’s recommended for everything from pink eye (conjunctivitis) to cataracts and many other conditions in between.
Oh yes, and let’s not forget Ginkgo Biloba, one of the world’s oldest known and researched herbs. Ginkgo increases blood flow to the retina and can slow retinal damage which causes macular degeneration. Ginkgo opens the blood vessels to the eyes, head, and brain. Since glaucoma is caused by high eye pressure or lack of blood flow to the eye, this herb can prove especially effective.
To improve your vision, you need to know about an astonishing amino acid named glutathione. Glutathione protects the tissues surrounding the lens of your eyes. Numerous studies link glutathione with the prevention of cataracts, glaucoma, retinal disease, and diabetic blindness. So, to improve your eyesight include more garlic, eggs, asparagus, and onions in your diet as these raise glutathione levels. Other glutathione-rich foods include watermelon, grapefruit, and asparagus. Also, an amino acid, N-Acetyl Cystine (NAC), stimulates your body’s production of antioxidants by replacing your body’s levels of glutathione.
Another necessary building block for your eyes is lutein. Lutein is essential for healthy vision. Lutein is often found together with its partner, zeaxanthin. These two carotenoids act as a shield for your eye, protecting you from both free radicals and harmful UVB light.
Lutein lowers the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. So, eat more tomatoes, carrots, and squash. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, kale, and chard are also high in lutein. You can also find this necessary building block in many red, blue, and purple fruits.
The Secret to Improved Night Vision
There really isn’t much of a secret about improving your night vision. A healthy diet rich in all the vitamins and nutrients that your eyes need can improve your vision. Strong, healthy eyes have much less difficulty with night vision issues. Protecting your eyes from the problems associated with night vision can also help you prevent the onset of many other age-related vision problems. Cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration are all associated with deficiencies in diet.
The best way for you to obtain all the vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy eyes is to eat foods rich in these items. True, with today’s busy lifestyle, some people just don’t have the time or ability to do this. There is also the problem of convincing your family that the natural foods containing these vitamins and nutrients are better for them than their favorite fast foods.
As an alternative, you could try a supplement that provides all the essential vitamins and minerals you need. To ensure that your eyes get all the nutrients they need, a natural supplement that contains all the nutrients and vitamins listed above, like our Rebuild Your Vision Ocu-Plus Formula, could just be the answer you’re looking for.