Eye problems and Ways to Improve Your Eyesight
Improving eyesight naturally
Most adults start developing eyesight issues between their mid-40s and early 50s, particularly when reading and working on computers. Poor vision at close distances is one of the most common vision challenges between the ages of 40 and 60. However, this is a normal change with the eye’s ability to focus and may progress with time.
Your vision may improve if you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses. But, if you want to do more to improve your vision, there are other ways to do so. In this article, we explore eight ways to improve your vision over 50.
The best way to improve your eyesight naturally is to give your eyes what they need to be healthy. A steady supply of nutritious foods and vitamins keeps your eyes — and your body in general — at their peak.
Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as the mineral zinc, contain antioxidants that can help prevent macular degeneration. It’s a condition in which the macula — the part of the eye that controls central vision — deteriorates.
Food sources for these important nutrients include a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits, such as:
- red peppers
- sweet potato
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and flaxseed, are also recommended for better eye health.
Your eyes work hard during the day and need a break now and then. The strain can be especially intense if you work at a computer for long stretches at a time. To ease the strain, follow the 20-20-20 ruleTrusted Source.
That means every 20 minutes, you should stop staring at your computer and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Your eyes are especially vulnerable to germs and infections. Even things that just irritate your eyes can affect your vision. For those reasons, you should always wash your hands before touching your eyes or handling your contact lenses.
It’s also super important to wash your hands and disinfect your contact lensesTrusted Source as instructed.
You should also replace your contact lenses as advised by the manufacturer or your doctor. Germs in your contact lenses can lead to bacterial infections of the eyes.
Our eyes carotenoids
A few other nutrients are also keys to improving eyesight. Among them are lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids found in the retina. You can also find them in leafy green vegetables, broccoli, zucchini, and eggs.
Lutein and zeaxanthin can also be taken in supplement form. These carotenoids help protect the macula by improving pigment density in that part of the eye, and absorbing ultraviolent and blue light.
Exercise Your Eyes
These simple exercises will help you maintain optimal vision and may also keep those annoying eye floaters at bay. Perform these exercises first thing in the morning, before bedtime, or any time your eyes feel fatigued. Make sure that your hands are clean and that your mood is relaxed. Commit to daily practice and you may just see better results within one month.
- Warm your eyes. Rub your palms together to create heat, and then place them against your eyes for five seconds. Repeat this three times.
- Roll your eyes. Start by looking up and then slowly circle 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise.
- Focus. Hold a pen at arm’s length, focus your eyes on it, and slowly bring the pen closer until it’s about 6 inches away from your nose. Then slowly move it back, keeping your eyes focused on the pen, 10 times in all.
- Massage your temples. Using your thumb knuckles, massage your temples in small circles, 20 times in one direction and 20 in the other. Repeat the same actions above the mid-point of the eyebrows at the forehead, then below the eyes on both sides of the bridge of the nose.
- Take a mini-nap. Put your head back, close your eyes, and relax for 3 minutes.
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Most Common Adult Vision Problems
- Blurred vision (called refractive errors)
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
Most Common Childhood Vision Problems
- Blurred vision (called refractive errors)
- Crossed eyes (called strabismus)
- Lazy eye (called amblyopia)
Blurred vision (refractive errors)
- Nearsightedness (called myopia) is when you can see clearly up close but blurry in the distance.
- Farsightedness (called hyperopia) is when you can see clearly in the distance but blurry up close.
- If you are older than 40 and have trouble reading small print or focusing up close, this is usually due to a condition called presbyopia. One in every three people 40 years or older in the U.S. will need glasses to read smaller print.
- Astigmatism is another condition that causes blurred vision, but it is because of the shape of the cornea.
These conditions affect the shape of the eye and, in turn, how the eye sees. They can be corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses, and in some cases surgery.
What are the risk factors for developing refractive errors?
- Family history – parent(s) who have one or more refractive errors
- Advancing age – presbyopia affects most adults over age 35
Crossed Eyes (strabismus)
Strabismus occurs when the eyes do not line up or they are crossed. One eye, however, usually remains straight at any given time. Common forms of strabismus include:
- Esotropia – one or both eyes turn inward toward the nose
- Exotropia – one or both eyes turn out; also called wall-eyed
- Hypertropia – one or both eyes turn up
- Hypotropia – one or both eyes turn down
If detected early in life, strabismus can be treated and even reversed.
If left untreated strabismus can cause amblyopia.
What are the risk factors for strabismus?
- Family history of strabismus
- Having a significant amount of uncorrected farsightedness (hyperopia)
- Disabilities such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy
- Stroke or head injury
Lazy Eye (amblyopia)
Amblyopia — often called lazy eye — is a problem that is common in children.
Amblyopia is a result of the brain and the eyes not working together. The brain ignores visual information from one eye, which causes problems with vision development.
Treatment for amblyopia works well if the condition is found early. If untreated, amblyopia causes permanent vision loss.