Tips to Improve Your Sight
Guest Blogger: Rachael
As we get older, our body unfortunately is no longer as strong and responsive as it once was. We feel it in our bones, in our muscles, and even in our eyes. As our vision becomes worse, it’s easy to worry that you may be losing your independence. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your sight even as you age.
How Diet Affects Vision
Our diets play a surprisingly large role in a variety of health and illness issues. You can think of it as ‘garbage in, garbage out’, or ‘quality in, quality out’. Eating a variety of healthful foods and not relying on pre-made or processed foods can make a big difference in our health overall, and that includes our sight.
There are specific nutrients that help our eyes especially much. These are omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamins C and E, and lutein. Foods that contain these much-needed vitamins and minerals are salmon and tuna, green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, and beans, oranges and other citrus fruit.
In addition to providing needed vitamins and minerals, a healthy diet will ward off serious health issues that contribute to failing sight, especially diabetes. Not only can diabetes increase your chance of cataracts and glaucoma, it often causes diabetic retinopathy, which damages your eyes.
How Lifestyle Affects Vision
How you live has a great deal to do with how strong and healthy your body and eyes remain as you age. There are several lifestyle choices that can cause danger to your eyes. The first is watching large amounts of television or spending too much time on the computer. While both of these technologies provide fun and entertainment, too much time with them can cause significant eye strain and lead to long-term eye damage.
Exercise is another important part of overall health, including eye health. Taking a daily walk outside when weather permits is a great way to give your eyes natural air, sunlight, and a chance to focus on various distances. Many times our indoor lives involve a lot of short-distance vision, and time outside can give your eyes a chance to practice distance focusing.
Be sure to wear protective gear when participating in sports or home repairs that may damage the eyes. No matter what your age, all it takes is one slip or one piece of debris to permanently damage your vision.
Finally, smoking is a lifestyle habit that can harm your health in many ways, especially your eyes. Smoking leads to an increased risk of cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration. Even if you’ve tried before and failed to quit, try again. Your body – and your eyes – will thank you.
How Attitude Affects Vision
Anytime we are under stress, our minds release adrenaline and all of our faculties go into overdrive, including our vision. Increases in blood pressure, muscle tension, and intraocular pressure are part of stress; and over time, these can take a huge toll on our vision. The results can be tunnel vision, blurry vision, or even hallucination.
To avoid stress and the toll it takes on our bodies, we need to make sure we maintain optimism and gratitude about our circumstances. It can be very difficult to maintain these positive attitudes when we are facing adverse circumstances, but it is possible to form simple habits that will help you stay in a positive space.
Thankfulness is one of the key indicators of happiness and lack of stress. In our lives all of us have many things to be thankful for, even if we don’t often think about them. One way to reduce stress and create a more positive attitude is by listing the things we are grateful for. These things can be family, retirement, independence, a vehicle, or even just a warm place to sleep. When you take time to list several blessings every day, eventually you will create a more positive outlook on life.
Meditation or spiritual practice can be another way to reduce stress in difficult times. Whether you attend a regular house of worship, meditate alone, or meet regularly with like-minded friends, connecting to your spiritual side can help you gain perspective and calm your mind in tough situations.
Finally, social connections are a great way to find joy and fun in your daily life. Make friends that have a great outlook on life and spend time with them. You become most like those you spend the most time with, so choose carefully. However, a few well-chosen friendships can be a great encouragement in difficult situations.
Maintaining the health of your vision is tied in closely with your overall physical wellbeing. As you pay attention to your diet, lifestyle, and attitude, you will be well on your way to keeping your eyes healthy for years to come.
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