Every month we should be concerned with keeping our vision healthy, but this May, take special care to see that you’re giving your vision all that it requires and that you’re setting your bad habits aside.
Spring is the best time to get rid of the old and start with the new. The snow melts and the flowers bloom. Take a page out of nature’s book and start fresh with your eyes this month with these great ways to get your eyes back into shape right in time for summer!
Eat the Right Foods
Eating well will benefit your whole body, there’s no doubt about it. You’ll be healthier, you’ll have more energy, you’ll feel happier and you may even shed some unwanted and unwelcome pounds.
What a lot of people don’t know is that eating healthy can also benefit your eyesight! Your eyes, just like any other part of your body, require certain nutrients to be able to function at their highest capacity. A simple change of diet can help you keep your eyes healthy this spring.
Which foods are the best to eat, you ask? Here are our picks for this May:
- Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, broccoli and Brussel sprouts make the top of our list this month. These veggies are rich in two antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin. Antioxidants are essential in the body to fight off free radicals that can destabilize cells and cause them to die.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are crucial for fighting free radicals in the eyes. This can help to prevent disease like macular degeneration, cell damage from smoking and other air pollutants, damage from the sun and from allowing diseases like glaucoma and cataracts the opportunity to develop.
- Brightly pigmented foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, sweet bell peppers and much more are responsible for keeping your eyesight sharp. These colorful veggies not only add beauty to your plate, they also help your body convert their pigments into vitamin A for the eye.
This is due to an antioxidant called beta carotene. Vitamin A is probably the most needed vitamin for the eyes. Beta carotene will help to preserve your eyesight even as you get older. It will also fight off cataracts, glaucoma, and conditions related to a vitamin A deficiency (including night blindness).
- Omega-3s are another essential for the eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in a variety of foods that include salmon, fish oil supplements, flax seeds (and flax seed oil), and eggs.
Eating omega-3 fatty acids is a great natural remedy for dry eyes. As the season changes, our skin tends to dry out as we adjust to the new temperatures. The same can happen to your eyes (especially with spring allergies in the air). Take precaution by upping your intake of omega-3s.
Exercise the Body
Eating healthy isn’t the only thing that’ll take your eyes far this spring. Work in exercise into your daily routine to prevent some harmful eye diseases in the future.
Working out, whether you like to jog, bike or walk at a brisk pace is doing more for your vision than you might think. Partaking in moderate cardio exercise at least three times a week will help to promote circulation in the eye.
This is good news for people with diabetes. A good blood flow in the eye can mean a reduced risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. If you happen to already have the disease, then some mild cardio will definitely help to relieve some of the symptoms.
Light to moderate cardio has also proven to reduce your risk of glaucoma. People who exercise regularly have a more stable intraocular eye pressure. If you have glaucoma or are at risk of developing it, it is important to keep your workouts light as to not rock to boat. That means leisurely walks and bike rides are great, but steer clear of heavy weight lifting.
Even if you aren’t at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, everyone can benefit from exercising. Good blood circulation will keep your vision clear and in working order.
These vision training exercises are a little different. There’s no jogging or biking involved. Rather, take the time this month to fit quick vision-improving exercises into your day. You’d be amazed with what five minutes of vision training a day can do.
These exercises are meant to strengthen your eye muscles. This is extremely helpful for those who have refractive errors as eye exercises mainly help your eyes to focus on object quicker.
An easy exercise to perform that can be done at any time and almost anywhere is the pencil exercise. Simply grab a pencil (or pen) and hold it at arm’s length. Focus your eyes on the eraser of the pencil or the tip of the pen. Then begin to move it in various directions and follow the tip with your eyes.
If you really want to work on your eye’s focusing ability, move the pencil or pen closer to your face and then back to arm’s length over and over. This exercise is best done slowly.
Don’t rush your eyes into strenuous work. You wouldn’t start a race sprinting. You start off slow as a warm up and work up to speed. The same applies to all vision exercises.
Another quick and easy exercise that requires no equipment is rolling your eyes. Roll your eyes in various directions four to five times on each side. Stop immediately if you experience any light-headedness or a headache.
Talk to Your Doctor and Learn About Vision!
One more way that you can improve your vision this month is to see your doctor for an eye exam and learn more about your vision! The more we know about our own vision, the better we’ll be able to protect ourselves.
Our eyes are all unique. Not even the two eyes in your head are identical. It’s important to know if you are at risk of developing any vision conditions. The sooner eye diseases and conditions are identified, the more effectively they can be treated.
Take a minute this May to re-evaluate your vision health. Make healthy choices and don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor about any vision concerns no matter how small they may seem to you.