Receiving regular eye checkups is one way to improve eye health. There are other ways to increase your eyesight as well. A major contributor to eye trouble is poor diet. If you have a vitamin deficiency, it can lead to several eye problems. (5) However, if you supplement with the correct vitamins and minerals, you can help to increase your eyesight. Some of these supplements also protect against free radicals. This is important because free radicals can cause eye damage. In this article, we will discuss more ways to increase your eyesight naturally. Let’s discuss this topic.
Everyone has heard they need to decrease sugar in their diet. The truth is consuming too much sugar causes many issues. One of them is damaging your eyesight. This is because when you eat too much sugar, your body produces insulin to remove the sugar from your blood. If this doesn’t happen, the sugar builds up in your blood. This will cause a lot of issues including vision problems. Also, if your insulin is chronically raised, more issues can occur. It can double your risk of developing glaucoma. (6) Additionally, it doubles the risk of developing cataracts at a young age. It can also cause proliferative retinopathy and macular edema. (6) Proliferative retinopathy is when weak blood vessels begin to form on the retina. Macular edema is the build-up of fluid in the macula. This causes it to swell which distorts vision.
Instead of using sugar, try some of the following options:
2. Monk Fruit
Stevia is a good alternative to sugar. It is 100% natural and contains zero calories. Studies have shown it to lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels. (13)
Monk fruit contains no sugar. This means that eating it will not affect blood sugar levels. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers monk fruit sweeteners to be regarded as safe. Additionally, monk fruit is natural and contains zero calories. (7)
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol. However, it contains 40% fewer calories than sugar. Using this sugar alternative has dental benefits. (10)
Erythritol is sugar alcohol as well. This alternative tastes very similar to sugar. However, it only contains 6% of the calories. (11)
Now that you know that you need to decrease your sugar intake to have better eyesight, we will move on to the next way.
Increase Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Increasing omega 3 fatty acids also helps to increase your eyesight. Omega 3 fatty acids are the main structural component in the eyes and the brain. Studies show that they may help to prevent macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness. Additionally, macular degeneration causes premature aging of the eyes and retina damage. (8)
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. Supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids helps to maintain healthy retinas and support visual recovery. Additionally, it decreases the time to heal abrasions caused by eye injuries. (9) This is especially true for corneal epithelium abrasions. Corneal epithelium abrasions are a result of an injury where the outer surface of the eye gets scraped by an object. These objects are usually a fingernail, paper, branches or contact lens. Furthermore, omega 3 fatty acids increase the number of tears. Tears are important. They clean and moisturize your eye. This is also the reason that consuming omega 3 fatty acids improve dry eye as well.
Now that you know omega 3 fatty acids improve your vision, we will move on to the next way.
Another way to improve your eyesight is to increase your antioxidant intake. Lutein and zeaxanthin are both found in the retina and the macula. They are both found in green leafy vegetables. However, they are only found in low amounts. Therefore, our recommendation is to use supplements to fulfill this suggestion. Here is a list of supplements that improve your eyesight.
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Green Tea Extract
- N-Acetyl Cysteine
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Ginkgo biloba increases blood flow to the eyes. Several studies have shown that ginkgo biloba supplements result in increased blood flow to the eye. (19)
Green tea extract has various benefits. It contains catechins. They are responsible for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The antioxidants lower the risk of developing cataracts. Additionally, it decreases your risk of developing macular degeneration. (12)
Bilberries contain a high amount of anthocyanin. This chemical improves retina problems caused by diabetes and high blood pressure. Additionally, it protects against eye strain and cataracts. Research suggests that it helps improve nearsightedness and glaucoma as well. (14)
Blueberries contain lutein and zeaxanthin, and anthocyanins. These antioxidants have been shown to improve night vision and help maintain eye health. (12)
Zinc helps deliver vitamin A from the liver to the retina. This is so that it can produce melanin. Melanin is a protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc deficiency has been linked to impaired vision. (15)
Taurine is vital for normal vision. Additionally, it helps to prevent age-related cataracts and protects the retina. Taurine deficiencies are linked to retinal degeneration. (16)
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a powerful antioxidant and antitoxin. NAC protects against the toxicity of nitric oxide and decreases oxidant injury. (2)
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a nutrient with antioxidant activity. Furthermore, ALA can regenerate other antioxidants. It can do this to vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). (3) Free radicals appear to cause proteins in the eye to stick together. They also kill the enzymes that get rid of damaged proteins. Oxidation in the retina leads to damage to the photoreceptor cells. ALA protects against all of these issues and supports healthy blood sugar levels. This is very important to optimal eye health. (1)
Quercetin prevents oxidative damage in the lens. It also helps to protect the eyes against free radicals. (17)
Lycopene is an antioxidant as well. Studies of the supplement have shown it is beneficial for healthy vision. (18)
Now that you know several supplements that increase your eyesight, we will move onto the last way.
Decrease Blue Light
Another way to improve your eyesight is to decrease the amount of artificial blue light you are exposed to. Artificial blue light can be found in electronic devices such as computers, televisions, cell phones, LED lights and energy-efficient light bulbs. Long term exposure may cause eye damage. (4)
Blue light has a shorter wavelength and higher energy. This makes it more difficult for our eyes. The shorter wavelength makes it appear to flicker more often. This causes eye fatigue. Blue light disturbs your eyesight and sleep cycles. This is because the light tricks your body into thinking it is a different time of day. Therefore, your body doesn’t produce melatonin, which causes you to not be able to sleep as well. (4)
You’ve probably heard that before. However, did you know that digital eye strain can lead to dry eye syndrome? Then, dry eye syndrome can lead to problems focusing and premature macular degeneration.
What can you do to prevent this from happening? You can purchase blue light blocking glasses. There are some inexpensive pairs on Amazon. They are available in prescription and non-prescription versions. You can also decrease your screen and device time. Setting a timer may be helpful. Another way to minimize your blue light exposure is to change your setting or download an app on your cell phone. Additionally, you can download an app on your computer to decrease blue light exposure. (4)
Hopefully, now you know some natural ways to improve your eyesight. We have discussed decreasing sugar intake and increasing your antioxidant intake. We also mentioned increasing your omega 3 fatty acid intake. Another option is to decrease your exposure to artificial blue light. We highly recommend trying these suggestions. Even if you only try one at a time. It’s never too late to improve your eyesight and decrease your eye prescription!
- Connor W.E., et al. (1992). “Essential fatty acids: the importance of n-3 fatty acids in the retina and brain.” Nutr Rev 50(4): 21-29.