Certainly, there are everyday strategies to protect your vision. It would come as no surprise that diet is one of them. There are specific foods that can protect your eyesight throughout your life. Some of these include foods rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins found in blueberries and black currants; lutein and zeaxanthin found in green leafy vegetables and orange and yellow fruits and veggies; animal-based omega-3 fatty acids found in krill oil and wild-caught Alaskan salmon; bioflavonoids found in cherries, citrus fruits, and cherries; and Vitamin D.
In addition, here are several lifestyle strategies to help optimize eyesight:
- No smoking – smoking increases free radicals in your body and causes chronic inflammation that can contribute to poor vision.
- Exercise regularly – high blood pressure can cause damage to tiny blood vessels on your retina, obstructing free blood flow. An effective exercise regimen can significantly reduce blood pressure, as well as optimizing insulin and leptin levels.
- Avoid processed foods and added sugars, especially fructose – the equivalent of two sugary drinks can have the potential of increasing your blood pressure.
- Regulate blood sugar levels – when you have too much sugar circulating in your blood, it can pull fluid from the lens of your eye, affecting your ability to focus. You also risk damaging the blood vessels in your retina causing blood flow obstruction. It is therefore important to consume high-quality, well-balanced meals. Protein specifically, helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Avoid trans fats – trans fat is found in many processed foods and baked goods, including margarine, shortening, fried foods, doughnuts, cookies, pastries, and crackers. Consumption of trans fats can contribute to macular degeneration.
- Avoid aspartame – aspartame (which hides behind brand names such as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure), has been found to be a contributing factor to many health issues, including heart problems, obesity, and cancer. Vision problems can also be added to the list. You may be interested to know that since last year, aspartame changed its name and is now known as AminoSweet. Some health advocates are saying the name was changed to fool the public.
A major source of eye strain and fatigue nowadays is caused by staring at computer screens all day (and night!). Here are some tips on how to protect your eyes when sitting in front of a computer screen:
- Use an anti-glare screen on your monitor. Darker colored walls are better than light or bright colored walls.
- Make sure your monitor screen is the brightest thing in the room. Ambient lighting should be about half as bright as most office lighting.
- Sit at least an arm’s length away from your computer screen and position screen just below eye level.
- Adjust color temperature (amount of blue light) of monitor screen, as well as brightness, text size, and contrast.
- Practice distance vision – every 20 minutes, take a break from looking at the screen and look at something further away from you.