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5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Eyesight Today
Wondering if there is anything you can do to improve your eyesight naturally? With these 5 simple tricks, you can improve your eyesight today!
Vision problems are a normal part of aging, right? But what if that isn’t true? What if there was a simple way to prevent most of the natural aging-related vision loss that most people experience? Wouldn’t you jump at the chance to reduce your risk of poor vision as you age?
According to recent scientific studies, there are simple steps you can take that will reduce your risk of developing vision loss related to aging. With just a few diet changes and by ensuring you have a specific daily vitamin and mineral intake, you can reduce your chances of developing severe age-related macular degeneration by 60 percent or more.
Read on to learn more about how you can reverse the signs of aging in your eyes.
AMD is simply a clinical term for the natural failing of the eyes over time. The clinical name for this condition is age-related macular degeneration. This usually occurs slowly over time, although many people do not realize they have damaged eyesight until their 40s.
According to the National Eye Institute, AMD is one of the leading causes of vision loss in adults over age 60. AMD can take two forms- wet and dry.
In dry AMD, light sensitive cells located in the macula break down and cause blurring vision. In some cases, someone with dry AMD might see a blurry spot in the center of their vision. This blurry section will continue to grow larger as you age. You may have trouble seeing in dim light and have trouble viewing someone’s face.
In wet AMD, blood vessels start to grow abnormally under the macula. This often causes the macula to move out of the normal position- causing vision problems. A person with wet AMD might start seeing straight lights as wavy lines. Wet AMD is less common than dry and can quickly lead to severe vision loss.
Obviously, the main risk factor for developing AMD is age, but there are also other health conditions that are linked with this problem as well. These risk factors include:
According to the National Eye Institute, there AMD progression can be slowed or prevented in the early and intermediate stages. In the advanced stages, it is unlikely that natural treatments will reverse the progression of the condition. The National Eye Institute recommends two differing treatment methods based on the severity of the condition.
Early AMD is difficult to treat because unless someone shows signs of vision loss, it is difficult to determine if the eyes are starting to break down. AMD is considered early if someone is currently not experiencing progressive vision failure. The National Eye Institite states that individuals who do not smoke, exercise regularly, eat a lot of fish, eat a generally healthy diet, and eat a lot of green leafy vegetables are much less likely to develop AMD at all.
At the intermediate stage, vision loss is detectable. However, researchers from the National Eye Institute found that certain habits at the mid stage could also prevent vision loss from getting worse and at the very least- slowed the progression of the degeneration. According to one study, a combination of vitamin C, E, beta carotene, copper, and zinc was able to reduce the risk of developing late-stage AMD by 25 percent. A second study found that using the same vitamin mixture but replacing the beta carotene with a 5-to-1 mixture of lutein and zeaxanthin was able to reduce a person’s risk even further.
The AMD supplement list outlined above is a good start for retaining eye health, but it can only reduce the risk of worsening eyesight by about 30-40 percent at the most. By adding in other eye-protecting habits, you can reduce your risk even further- by 60 percent or more. Take the steps outlined below to ensure your eyes remain as healthy as possible throughout life.
A variety of foods are exceptionally healthy for the eyes. One of the best foods you can eat for eye health are black currants. Black currants are a sort of tiny, bitter blueberry that are native to Asia and Europe. Black currants have some of the highest levels of anthocyanins (a powerful anti-inflammatory flavonoid) in nature. The berries also contain essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Bilberries, similar to black currants, also contain several ingredients that can benefit eye health. Just like black currants, bilberries contain high levels of anthocyanins. Bilberries have been studied directly for their benefit on eye health. A 2005 study published in the journal Advances in Gerontology found that rats who supplemented with 20 mg of bilberry extract per kilo of body weight had no eye degeneration. 70 percent of the control group suffered eye degeneration over the same study period.
Another powerful eye food is dark leafy greens. Leafy greens contain high levels of Lutein and zeaxanthin. You can find the largest amounts of these ingredients in kale and spinach. These ingredients are also found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, which is why carrots are often credited with improving eye health.
Eggs are also extremely beneficial for eye health. Egg yolks contain both lutein and zeaxanthin- and is easily absorbed by the body.
According to a 2010 study published in the journal Ophthalmology, the nutrients necessary for eye health are best absorbed along with a fat source (like omega 3 fat). Eating these foods with a healthy fat source will benefit your eyes more than simply eating the ingredients raw.
Fish products are also extremely beneficial for the eyes. The 2010 study found that individuals who ate the most omega-3 fats had a 60 percent lower risk of developing AMD.
According to the National Eye Institute, a low-functioning cardiovascular system damages the eyes. High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, which leads to loss of vision. Regular exercise improves your cardiovascular health and also helps prevent obesity- which is also damaging to the eyes.
Eye strain can also damage the eyes and cause earlier eyesight loss. Staring at the computer for long hours is particularly damaging. Web MD recommends taking a 20 second break from staring at a computer screen every 20 minutes and taking a 15-minute break every two hours. Special glasses that can reduce eye glare from the computer can also help. Glare is particularly damaging, so always use computers and other electronic devices in a well-lit room.
In addition to bilberries and the nutrients outlined above, there are also several other supplements that have been scientifically linked to improved eye health. These additional supplements include:
Selenium: Selenium promotes healthy nerve impulses in the eyes and may also help prevent the eye from clouding over. A 2005 study found that supplementing with selenium was able to reduce the rate of progression in AMD.
L-Taurine: L-taurine is an amino acid used by the eyes to maintain cell strength and prevent damage to the eye from UV light. According to a 2004 study, some cases of AMD are linked to low levels of l-taurine.
Grape seed extract: Grape seed extract has powerful antioxidant properties and also promotes blood circulation to the eyes. A 2002 study found that supplementing with grape seed extract was beneficial for eye health and could help prevent conditions such as cataracts.
Ginkgo biloba: According to a study from 2002, study participants with dry AMD who supplemented with ginkgo biloba for 24 weeks showed improved vision.
Just like healthy foods can improve your vision, eating too much junk food could damage it. Junk food is linked with high blood pressure, obesity, poor cardiovascular health, and other risk factors that can destroy vision. In particular, avoid sugar, artificial sugar, and trans fats. Trans fats are a useless fat that confuses the body and are completely unusable. Sugar spikes blood sugar and contributes to damage in the blood vessels and chronic inflammation that is bad for the eyes. Some studies have linked artificial sugars with vision loss problems outside of other factors.
While it may be impossible to completely eliminate vision loss, implementing the steps outlined above can significantly reduce your chances of seeing severe vision loss as you age. Maintaining a healthy body and eating foods and supplements that specifically target eye health can go a long way toward reducing your chances of seeing AMD. As the studies outlined above show, following the above steps can reduce the risk of developing severe AMD by 60 percent or more- and the process is relatively painless and simply. Keep a healthy body and your eyes will be healthy!
The putative therapeutic value of high-dose selenium in proliferative retinopathies may reflect down-regulation of VEGF production by the hypoxic retina. Med Hypotheses 2005
Compartmental analysis of taurine transport to the outer retina in the bovine eye. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2004
Procyanidin-rich extract from grape seeds prevents cataract formation in hereditary cataractous (ICR/f) rats. J Agric Food Chem 2002
Ginkgo extract in impaired vision--treatment with special extract EGb 761 of impaired vision due to dry senile macular degeneration] Wien Med Wochenschr 2002
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