1. REST YOUR EYES
As we mentioned above, staring at a computer screen for too long can cause eye strain. This is why it’s important to rest your eyes just as you would any muscle in your body. If you’re stuck at the office for eight hours a day, try closing your eyes for a few minutes every hour or so to reset your vision. This can help you see more clearly once you get back to work.
You might also want to gently massage your temples while you close your eyes or apply a warm (or cool) washcloth for some extra TLC. Chances are your entire body will appreciate the short break, and you’ll be more productive (and see better!) when you rest your eyes often. If you’re not able to close your eyes while at work, at least try to focus on different objects to take a break from whatever it is you stare at most.
2. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep does wonderful things for your body. Specifically, it helps to heal, restore, and repair various aspects of your health. Your eyesight is one of them. Research shows that poor sleep quality and not sleeping enough is linked to visual impairments. This means that if you go to bed too late each night or have interrupted sleep, it can greatly impact your eye health. During sleep, your body detoxes its brain cells, which proves that sleep is a very restorative period for your body that you don’t want to miss out on. And when your brain works better, so do your eyes.
While sleeping too much is not good for your eyes either, the trick is to find a healthy balance. You’ll want to avoid watching TV or your phone late at night as the blue light that is emitted from these devices can tell your brain not to produce melatonin, which is the hormone that tells you when to get sleepy. Experts recommend shutting down electronics two hours before bedtime to make sure you’re well prepared for sleep. Try establishing a sleep routine such as going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every day (even on weekends) so that your body knows when it’s time to sleep.
If you need help falling asleep without the use of electronics, try taking a warm bath, going for a walk outside for some fresh air, or even doing yoga. You’ll notice that after a few nights of good sleep, your vision is one of the first areas of your health to improve, along with your concentration levels and mood.
3. AVOID INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Inflammation and disease go hand in hand. When the body is inflamed, it makes it easier for a disease to thrive. Uveitis is a term that is used to describe a handful of inflammatory diseases that causes eye tissues to swell. Eventually, the disease destroys these eye tissues, which greatly affects vision. Uveitis often affects a part of the eye called the uvea, but it can also cause damage to your lens, optic nerve, retina, and vitreous, which causes blindness or reduced vision. As with all inflammatory conditions, uveitis can be controlled by reducing the amount of inflammation in your body. This starts by avoiding inflammatory foods that trigger the immune system to send out inflammatory mediators in the first place.
Some of the most common offenders include processed grains, junk food, refined sugar, and hydrogenated oils. These foods start by causing inflammation in the digestive tract where they impact your microbiome or gut bacteria health and make it harder for you to absorb the anti-inflammatory nutrients from foods that we listed above. When your immune system is inflamed, it sends out signals to your entire body, even your eyes. So by killing inflammation at the source and eliminating these foods from your diet, you’ll be doing wonders for your vision (as well as the rest of your body).
4. GET AN EYE EXAM
You should be getting regular eye exams anyway, but especially if you’re having vision trouble. Many eye diseases are only detected through an eye exam. And because many of these eye diseases are painless, it’s not good enough to wait until you have eye pain or loss of vision before seeing a doctor. Most health experts agree that once your vision is lost, you can’t get it back. Taking preventative measures by seeing an eye doctor and having your eyes examined is a great way to improve your vision. Your doctor can also give you tips about how to preserve your eye health later in life if macular degeneration or other eye problems run in your family.
Reading is a great exercise that you can do to strengthen your eyes. It’s also great for your cognitive, too. So you’ll be improving two very closely related areas of your body when you perform this one exercise. When picking out material to read, make sure it’s printed or in the form of something other than a phone or electrical device. This is because the blue light is very damaging to your eyes, and you don’t want to spend more time reading from sources like these than you have to.
Picking out a good book to read can also help you reduce stress. Make sure you have a well-lit area to read in and avoid reading in the dark. Try replacing your nighttime television watching routine with some reading and you’ll strengthen your eyesight in no time. For even more strength training, try putting down your reading glasses and focusing on the words using nothing but your natural vision. As the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
6. AVOID DIM LIGHTING
If you are constantly squinting to see in the dark, this could be affecting your eyesight. Check the lighting in your home and at your work to make sure you have a well-lit area to spend most of your time in. If it’s dark at the office, consider getting a lamp to put next to your computer on your desk. This can help you see and read better. Plus, you’ll be squinting less.