How does your body feel when you’re stressed? Maybe you’re approaching a deadline you aren’t ready for, or maybe your relationship isn’t where you want it to be. Life is full of stress; the moment you get a grasp on one cause, another one creeps up. Unfortunately, your body takes a lot of punches when you’re feeling stress, especially the eyes. That’s why it’s important to take vitamins specifically made to relieve stress on the eyes.
Stress causes the body to go into fight or flight mode. When stress levels rise, adrenaline starts pumping, blood pressure increases, and muscles become tense. The eyes are incredibly sensitive to the effects of stress because they rely on optimal blood flow and muscle health to function. There are other things that cause the eyes to feel stressed, like:
- Dryness in the eyes; dry eye syndrome
- Eye strain (often from staring at computer and cell phone screens)
- Various optical diseases
We can’t control our genetic disposition to be allergic to the pollen in the air. Or to be at a higher risk for certain eye diseases. However, we can control our diets. Ensuring you get enough vitamins that help relieve stress on the eyes is crucial to preventing vision problems. It’s also crucial to prolonging the onset of certain diseases. It’s important to focus on a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients for your overall health. The following vitamins are highly beneficial for de-stressing your eyes.
1. Vitamin A
This vitamin does a myriad of things for your eyes. Vitamin A aids in the formation of rhodopsin which ensures the healthy function of the retina. It also reduces your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration by minimizing the excess free radicals in your eyes. In terms of relieving eye stress, it continues to be a champion of eye nutrients.
Vitamin A can help treat and prevent dry eye syndrome. When the eyes are dry, they can become irritated, red, and inflamed. Anyone who’s ever experienced having dry eyes knows how uncomfortable it can be! Through its job of ensuring the membranes of the cornea stay moist, your eyes are less likely to become dry. It can also increase the moisture in already-dry eyes.
This vitamin is also great for reducing inflammation that is caused by superior limbic conjunctivitis. When you have this type of inflammation, your superior cornea and the connecting tissues can become swollen and irritated. Vitamin A reduces inflammation which in turn reduces stress and pressure on the eyes.
2. Ginkgo Biloba
This herb comes from an ancient Chinese tree. People use it to treat different ailments, including health conditions in the eyes. After years of research, we know that ginkgo biloba is useful in regulating blood flow and circulation. Not only can it affect your blood pressure, but it can increase the blood circulation to your eyes. Blood clots are a serious issue that can affect your eyes and lead to life-changing consequences.
First, it ensures the intraocular pressure in your eyes doesn’t increase or build. Increased pressure in the eye can lead to glaucoma. By improving the blood flow to the optic nerve, glaucoma patients are able to slow down the progression of this disease. And, in some cases, even improve their vision.
For those who suffer from diabetes, eye health is closely tied to diabetes management. Many sufferers will develop diabetic retinopathy which severely damages the blood vessels in the retina. Taking regular supplements of ginkgo biloba can prevent the onset of diabetic retinopathy.
3. Lutein and Zeaxanthin
These two nutrients are part of the antioxidant family and are always associated with vitamins for eye health. Antioxidants in general are important for protecting the eye’s cells from free radicals and developing diseases like macular generation. Disease can put a lot of stress on your eyes, not to mention your overall physical and emotional stress. Prevention is the first step to saving your eyes from that stress.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are both anti-inflammatory agents that can reduce irritability during allergy season or from infections. In addition to protecting against inflammation, they also live up to their nickname, “the eye vitamins.” Of the 600 different carotenoids found in nature, lutein and zeaxanthin are the only ones found in the macula. Ensuring you have enough of these two soldiers in your diet protects your eyes from macular degeneration. They also protect you from cataract development and even light sensitivity. They’re responsible for playing a part in protecting the lens, eye tissue, as well as the macula from oxidation.
Perhaps the most common cause of eye stress is eye strain. We are all guilty of staring at the computer screen too long or holding our cell phones too close. However, the effects of too much screen-time take a serious toll on your eyes. Not only can it cause eye strain and pain, you can suffer from eye fatigue and poor night vision. Spending too much time focusing on a screen that’s a foot from your eyes causes your eyes to become stressed and uncomfortable.
Bilberries have antioxidant properties that can help prevent damage to the eyes from free radicals and oxidation. They have also been shown to reduce the permeability of the capillaries in our eyes which improves blood circulation. Through its support in producing rhodopsin, your eyes are able to see clearer in dim lighting and maintain sharpness. Traditionally, bilberries have been used to relieve eye strain and the symptoms that come with it. This makes them an excellent stress reliever for the eyes.
Other Ways to Relieve Stress on the Eyes
In addition to eating a healthy, balanced, eye-nutrient-rich diet, there are a couple of other ways to decrease the stress levels in your eyes. Take breaks when you’re working on a computer to allow your eyes to stop constricting and relax. Avoid smoking cigarettes because they can cause and increase symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Practice eye exercises that improve muscle strength, flexibility, and control.
Taking care of your eye health is no small feat; managing your stress is one aspect of maintaining your vision and eye systems. That’s just one more reason to prioritize self-care today.