Can You Improve Your Eyes With Exercises?
Our eyes are the windows to our world, but we often neglect to nurture our eyes or tend to overuse them. Luckily, there are sensible, easy eye exercises that may delay further vision deterioration that you can incorporate into your daily life. By caring for your eyes and eating healthy foods that benefit your vision, you have a better chance of keeping your vision intact. Here are a few common misconceptions about eye health:
- If you overuse your eyes, you'll make your vision worse. This isn't true; eyes were made for seeing, even if you occasionally have to strain them.
- Squinting is bad for your eyes. Squinting is a sign that you may need glasses in normal light, but it's not necessarily bad for your eyes.
- The use of glasses and even sunglasses begins a downward spiral of vision problems over time because your eyes will become dependent on them. Realize that your eyes won't become lazy over time if you wear corrective lenses or contacts.
- Bilberry standardized extract containing 25% anthocyanins helps to restore night vision. There is no evidence it supports visual adaptation to light and aids in the microcirculation of the eyes, however, bilberry may help eyesight in other ways.
About 130 million rods and 7 million cells make up the constitution of your eyes.
Computer Use and Eyesight
A computer screen produces an illusion of depth that is not healthy for your eyes. Your eyes were created for seeing in a three-dimensional world and not looking into a depth perception device. The flat screens of computers and watching television will take a toll on the health of your eyes.
The following eye exercises can help rejuvenate your tired eyes, especially if you spend a lot of time working in front of a computer screen. Remember to take an eye break every 10 minutes when working on a computer.
- Close your eyes gently and cup your palms over your eyes on a sunny day in the direction of the sun; not facing it. Counting to 12, open and close your palms while keeping your eyes closed. You should feel a warm sensation that brings moisture to your eyes.
- Look away and focus on a distant object, then look around and stretch your neck and arms. Pat your face gently to relax facial muscles. This helps to alleviate nearsightedness or myopia.
- Blink quickly for a few seconds to combat eye dryness and remember not to rub your eyes.
- Tap your eyelids gently with clean ring fingers for a couple of minutes to relieve eye pressure.
- Look to your far left, then to your far right about eight times. Look around in a clockwise fashion next counterclockwise six times. Open and close your eyes tightly for about a minute to help oxygenate your eyes.
- Splash your eyes with a healthy dose of fresh cool water once a day to revive them or more often if your eyes feel tired.
- Use a sleep mask to relax them further.
For more resources about strengthening your eyes, check out this article on eye exercises.
Food for Your Eyes
The foods you eat can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in America, according to Harvard Medical School. To protect your eyes, look for foods with high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory content.
- Carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes and cantaloupes have ample amounts of vitamin A and help protect your retina for normal visual function.
- Vitamin C helps prevent cataracts. It is found in strawberries, peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and tomatoes.
- Vitamin E helps heal the eyes. It is not so common in foods. It's found in wheat germ, pecans, almonds, and cold-pressed vegetable oils.
- Lutein a nutrient your body does not produce is very important for the prevention of macular degeneration and is found in green leafy vegetables, especially spinach and kale.
If you have bags under your eyes, avoid drinking fluids (other than water) before going to bed. Limit your sodium intake, get plenty of sleep and place a washcloth moistened with ice water for 15 minutes to shrink your swollen blood vessels.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2010 Sheila Craan