Do you want to protect your eyesight from old age?
Are your eyes ever tired from looking at a screen?
The reality is…
As you age your eyesight gets worse.
The good news:
There are many steps you can take to protect and improve your eye health naturally.
In this post I will cover why our eyes get worse as we age, the natural foods and supplements you can use, and actionable tips to benefit your eyes.
What happens to your eyes as you age?
There are many of age-related factors working against your vision.
According to the Vision Council of America, approximately 75% of adults use some sort of vision correction. - All About Vision
Presbyopia – farsightedness. This is caused by a loss of elasticity of the lens in the eye. It occurs as you age.
Cataracts – Ever try to see through fog? Cataracts are basically a fogging process of your eye lens. They commonly occur slowly and progress over time, eventually bothering your vision.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – You have a small central area in the retina of the eye called the macula. The macula aids your ability to read, use a smartphone, and anything that has to do with hand-eye coordination. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans.
Glaucoma – This is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve which can lead to serious vision loss. The optic nerve connects your eyes to your brain. One risk factor for glaucoma is high blood pressure. As of now, there is no treatment for vision loss related to glaucoma.
(If you are interested in ways to keep your blood pressure in check, read this post on heart health.)
Diabetic retinopathy – this is a diabetic complication that has a negative effect on the eyes. It is caused by blood vessel damage in the back of the eye (retina). There are over 10 million Americans that are older than 40 with diabetes at risk of this problem.
Reduced pupil size – As we age the muscles around the eyes that control pupil size naturally lose strength. This leads to smaller pupil size and sensitivity to light.
Dry eyes – As we age the body is unable to produce as much fluid to keep the eyes lubricated. This can lead to burning and stinging sensations in the eyes.
Loss of peripheral vision – Aging causes loss of peripheral vision. By the time someone is in there 70s they could lose up to 20-30 degrees of their peripheral vision.
Decreased color vision – We have cells in the retina of the eye which are responsible for seeing colors. As you age the colors become less noticeable. One major sign of this is that blue will appear faded.
Vitreous detachment – There is a gel-like vitreous inside of your eye. As we age the gel can become liquefied and you can experience spots or floaters. This can lead to other serious eye problems like blindness.
Which foods improve eyesight?
Diet is a key component of eye health.
The following foods may help enhance eyesight by providing the body with proper nutrition.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds contain vitamin E. Vitamin E can help slow age-related macular did degeneration of eye health and help prevent cataracts.
Vegetables like spinach, kale, and peppers have a lot of vitamin C and E. They also have vitamin A which helps protect the eyes from long-term degeneration like cataracts.
Broccoli and brussels sprouts have high amount vitamin A, C, and E along with antioxidants to support your retinas.
Actionable tip: Heat from cooking can break down the vitamin C, so try to eat vegetables raw or not overcooked if you can.
Food high in Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are healthy fats that can lead to eye health benefits.
Salmon and other fish like tuna can contain a high amount of omega 3 fatty acids that can help protect your eyes from degeneration and glaucoma.
Another one of my favorite foods with a high amount of omega 3s is chia seeds that I talk about in this post as well.
Orange colored fruits and veggies have a lot of beta-carotene which is a form of vitamin A. This helps your eyes to see when there is less light. Foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, and mangoes.
Foods with zinc
Organic lean beef and chicken are great sources of zinc. Zinc brings vitamin A from the liver to the retina in the eyes. I like to eat some organic grass-fed beef and chicken throughout the week.
Other foods high in zinc include eggs, squash, beans, and legumes.
Other ways food can improve eye health:
Artificial sugar and refined flours can speed up the aging process of your eyes.
Try to limit your sugar intake. Also, you should try to eat bread that is 100% whole-grain and sprouted. If bread is refined the carbs start the fat making process in the digestive system fast.
(The only bread I eat is this sprouted Ezekiel bread.) It tastes great and it is healthy.
Eating healthy protein sources.
Not all protein is the same. A diet with a lot of red meat is high in saturated fat which can lead to deteriorating eye health over time.
Control your sodium intake.
Eating too much sodium can be bad for the eyes.
Most processed foods today have an abundance of added sodium to make them taste more favorable.
Avoid processed foods and stick with healthier alternatives to keep your sodium levels low.
Water is essential for all aspects of health. I aim to drink about one gallon of water every day.
Another way to stay hydrated is to stick with natural drinks. Opt for herbal tea and water instead of soda or beer.
Can vitamin supplements help your eye health?
Even if you eat a healthy diet, a vitamin supplement could help defend eye health as you get older.
The truth is:
It is difficult to get all the vitamins and nutrients that your eyes need all of the time from just food.
When looking for a valuable supplement it is important that it has the right nutritional profile.
The following nutrients are beneficial for your eyes:
Many people have tried vitamins but never saw any impact. This is probably because they ate fake artificial vitamins cooked up in a lab.
These Garden of Life vitamins are derived from whole food products. There are no artificial vitamins in minerals in these vitamins. Meaning these vitamins are easily digested and not put to waste.
I have been using this vitamin for about 4 years now and I believe it is one of the major factors that has helped my eyesight.
Lifestyle tips to help your vision:
Phone and computer screens are not good for your eyes.
To protect my eyesight from screens I do the following:
- I place my computer in front of me
- Use night mode on my iPhone
- I use a program called f.lux on my desktop computer
More tips to protect your eye health include:
- Avoid smoking (smoking is bad for blood vessels in the eyes)
- Eye protection (if you do something potentially dangerous to eyes)
- Wear sunglasses (too much direct sun and brightness can put pressure on your eyes)
I had 20/20 vision 4 years ago and now my vision is 20/12. I am eating better exercising more, and taking these vitamins so my eyesight improved. However, I am young, so this will definitely not be the case for everyone!
Natural ways to improve eyesight can help, but if your eye health is not what you think it should be, get checked out by an eye doctor.
Everyone's eyes eventually get worse over time, so it is essential to get the proper eye treatments if needed.
I went over:
- How our eyes get worse over time
- Foods that improve eyesight
- Vitamin supplements and eye health
- Lifestyle tips to help your vision
Like always if you have any questions please let me know.
Do you use any of the tips I mentioned in your endeavor for optimal eye health?