Perhaps of all the senses, sight is the one we take most for granted. It is only when something interferes with our vision, that we realise how invaluable it is.
Preventative medicine for your eyes
Protect your eyes from damaging rays. Being in the sun without protection could be causing permanent harm to your eyes and increasing your chance of macular degeneration and cataracts. Wear sunglasses – but not just any glasses, they need to block UVA and UVB (different wave lengths of light). More information on sun damage and sunglasses at Sunsmart and Choice.
Don’t smoke! All that free radical damage is harming your eyes as well as your lungs.
Eat an antioxidant rich diet – lots of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, fresh raw nuts and seeds, berries, oily fish such as sardines, wholegrains and legumes. Avoid the foods that cause oxidation such as saturated (animal) fats and fried food.
Antioxidants, especially vitamins A, C and E and nutrients selenium and zinc, help protect your eyes from age related damage and cataracts (vitamins A & E. Lutein, one of the pigments in yellow/orange/green vegetables is especially eye-friendly.
Talk to a herbalist about the suitability of herbs such as bilberry and ginkgo for more serious eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Some of those annoying eye things
Floaters: These are stringy bits of vitreous humour (the jelly like fluid in the eye), casting a shadow on retina. Most of us have them. Do you find you notice them more when you are tired? Maybe it’s time to rest your eyes?
Dazzled by bright lights: If you find driving at night tends to ‘dazzle’ your eyes, it could be a sign of a vitamin A deficiency.
Eyestrain: If your eyes are tired, sore dry or having trouble focusing from over use, especially too much computer work – try simple exercise such as changing your focus from near to far only using the muscles in your eyes and not moving your head. More tips on computer use and eyes at the Mayo Clinic site. Use your computer less, take more breaks, vary your tasks, leave the office at lunchtime to go for a walk rather than reading your emails!
Visual migraines: This is a type of migraine you can have without a headache. Sufferers describe it as episodes of flashing lights, zig zags or feeling like they “can’t see straight”. Talk to your GP to confirm the diagnosis. Like classic migraines, this can be triggered by neck and back tension, dehydration, stress and specific allergies.
Can you correct your sight naturally?
The success of this method has not been proven. However, anecdotally, I have met a number of people who have had vision improvement using this method. But have lost many of the gains once they stopped doing their eye exercises.
The original Bates “Perfect Sight Without Glasses”, first published in 1920,is where natural vision improvement ideas began. Now out of copyright, you can read the original text and evaluate it for yourself.
I had a lecturer who when showing the class a bunch of slides, would periodically put in a pretty picture, often flowers and say “rest your eyes for a moment”. Don’t forget to consciously look at beauty and appreciate the wonders of vision, every day.