For many people, glasses become a part of who they are – they grow to be a part of a person’s look and appearance and can even contribute to their personality while performing their essential task of improving a person’s vision. Over time, most people who wear glasses or contacts end up needing stronger prescriptions as their vision continues to decline. Many people come to a point where they want to find a way to really heal or correct their eyesight and prevent it from declining over time.

But aside from corrective vision surgeries such as Lasik (laser in-situ keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), is it possible to assist your eyesight naturally?

While some experts would claim it is impossible to improve vision naturally, other experts say that there are measures that can be take that – with dedication and time – may improve and aid in overall vision. Here are some of the best recommendations if you are seeking natural remedies to aid in improving your eyesight.

Natural Ways To Protect Your Eyesight 

#1. Eye Exercises And Relaxation

Over 90 years ago, eyesight specialist Dr. Bates believed that the muscle surrounding the eye can becomes unbalanced, causing strain, and even pulling the eyes to one side or another, which can lead to vision problems. In present day, our constant use of electronics exposes us to artificial lighting, not enough exposure to natural lighting, reading for long periods of time, and elongated amounts of time looking up close at screens. Screens can cause immense strain on the eyes, even without you realizing it. Therefore, taking the time to relax your eyes can be beneficial to avoid over straining them.

Try this exercise: every 20 minutes, blink 10 times by closing your eyes as if falling asleep. Not only does this re-wet your eyes, but it eases eye strain. Additionally, make sure you have good lighting and maintain a reasonable distance from computer screens.

#2. Eating For Eyesight

Eyesight is a gift, so treating our vision and our eyes healthily is just as important as taking care of our bodies. But are you eating the foods that best support your eye health? You may have heard that carrots help your eyesight, but there is so much more to eye nutrition than that. Getting the right nutrients not only can boost your eye health, but it can also protect against threatening eye diseases.

Vitamins A, C, E and minerals like copper and zinc are imperative for healthy eyesight.

Try these foods: carrots, red peppers, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, strawberries, sweet potato, citrus, sunflower seeds. Eggs, as they are packed with vitamins and nutrients including lutein and vitamin A, which help protect against night blindness and dry eyes. Lean beef contains zinc, which also helps your body absorb vitamin A.

Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration and cataracts.

Try these foods: cold water fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel. If you aren’t a fan of fish, you can still get your omega-3s by supplementing with fish oil or vegetarian supplements containing black currant seed oil or flaxseed oils. Pistachios, walnuts, and almonds can also help as they are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants that also assist in stopping the development of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Try these foods: spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli, peas and avocados.

Foods high in vitamin E, zinc and niacin have various qualities to assist you in your journey to healthier eyes.

Try these foods: switching out refined carbohydrates for quinoa, brown rice, whole oats and whole wheat breads can boost your overall eye health. This is because they are full of vitamin E, zinc and niacin.

Protecting the retina while lowering the risk for developing macular degeneration and cataracts is also imperative for the health of your eyes. Foods that have high sources of bioflavonoids and zinc are helpful.

Try these foods: legumes such as kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lentils

#3. Stay Fit

Exercise is not only beneficial for your waistline, but it is also beneficial in maintaining your eye health. Exercise can help decrease the risk of age-related cataracts and macular degeneration. Additionally, Type 2 diabetes (while more common for those who are overweight or obese) can cause damage to small blood vessels in your eyes. Known as diabetic retinopathy, your vision over time can be harmed. Too much sugar circulating within your bloodstream can injure the extremely delicate walls of your arteries. Diabetic retinopathy causes the extremely small arteries in your retina to leak blood and fluid into the eye, harming your vision.

Try this exercise: running, walking, or exercising three or more times per week doing something you enjoy.

For young adults who may experience glaucoma, moderate intensity, low-impact exercise has been shown to help significantly reduce eye pressure.

#4. Blue Light Blockers

When it comes to protecting your eyes, basic UV coverage to protect you from harmful light is just not enough. Blue-light-blocking glasses are becoming increasingly popular as our usage of computers and electronics continues to only become greater and part of our everyday lives. They are special lenses that block high energy visible blue light from these electronic sources. They can help with dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision and basically any symptoms that may come from digital eyestrain.

What to do: invest in a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Optic retailers near and far can assist in finding you the perfect pair whether prescription or nonprescription. Apply blue light filters on your electronic devices, especially devices you frequent at night. Many newer devices offer blue light features that can be turned on (and off) as well as programmed to your desired preferences. Blue light filter apps are also available for download on electronic devices that do not already have them.

While these natural ways of helping or improving your vision can work for everyone individually, they do require time and dedication. Living a lifestyle that is healthy, while protecting your eyes from the elements around you can aid in reducing your chances of developing problems, that in the long run can lead to damaging the beautiful gift that is your vision.