Who isn’t eating kale and cauliflower (ahem, the new kale) while slugging fresh-pressed juices in between yoga class these days? You, too? We kid, but health and wellbeing are hot topics nowadays ‒ and for good reason. Taking care of yourself will not only make you look great, but you’ll feel even better. That said, there’s one thing too many of us overlook: eye health.
Not many people realize that with a few daily tips and tricks you can drastically improve your eye health. Sure, it’s not quite as instantaneously gratifying as dropping ten pounds; but taking care of your eyes now will have some serious long-term benefits. Keep reading for some easy-peasy ways to improve your eye health ‒ no cardio, Pilates class, or fad diets required.
Giving your eyes the proper nutrients they require to keep vision in tip-top shape is something you can do in about 10 seconds. Yep, it only requires a matter of seconds. How is this possible? You’ve just gotta swallow a vitamin.
Our eyes need things like Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, zinc, and lutein to keep them strong and healthy. Luckily, you can get all of these things in a single multivitamin or supplement. In fact, you can even buy ones that are made for eye health specifically.
While we’re on the subject of food, you can also include foods in your diet that are naturally rich in these nutrients. Here’s a quick list of some yummy options that work wonders for eye health:
- Dark, leafy greens
- Egg yolks
- Sweet potatoes
- Coldwater fish, like salmon and cod
Give ‘em a rest
Most of us are pretty much on screen overload these days. Between smart phones, computers, and televisions, we’re logging mega hours behind screens. Unfortunately, there’s a definite downside to all this for our eyes. Without even realizing it, uninterrupted screen time can cause eye fatigue, strain, and dry eyes.
To combat the side effects, remember to give your eyes a rest, especially if you’re working an eight-hour day behind a computer. The best thing you can do is simply lay down, close your eyes, and chill out. To maximize relaxation, thrown on a cool eye compress or even a slice of cucumber over each eye.
If that’s not practical, remember to simply look away from your screen at least once every hour for about 10 minutes. This break gives your eyes a chance to refresh themselves. Bonus: take those 10 minutes to go for a quick walk around the office or neighborhood ‒ your whole mind and body will be refreshed!
Do daily exercises
We promised up front that when it comes to eye health, sweaty cardio isn’t involved, but we didn’t say exercise was completely off the table. When it comes to eye exercises, you can do them just about anywhere ‒ even in your highest heels. Here are a few quick and easy exercises to try out:
- Roll your eyes. The trick here is to go slowly, otherwise you might make yourself dizzy. Do about 10 circles clockwise, then switch and do 10 more counterclockwise.
- With clean hands, rub your palms together to heat them up a bit. Then gently press them against your closed eyelids for about 5-10 seconds. This practice is called Palming. It’s thought to help relax the optic nerve, which can carry stress and become strained when eyes are fatigued. When palming, you should not place any pressure on your eye socket ‒ you’re just laying your heated hands over the eyes.
- Practice focusing near and far by holding a pen at arm’s length. Move it towards you, (about six inches from your nose) then back away from you. This forces your eye to refocus between near and far. Repeat this about 10 times.
Like we said, all that screen time can be really wearing on our eyes. One issue is that we don’t naturally blink as often as we should when staring at a screen. This can lead to dry eyes and fatigue. To combat this, force yourself to blink every 3-4 seconds for a minute or two. This will instantly refresh and revive your eyes.
Protect ‘em when outdoors
We know we say this all the time, but the advice is too good to ignore. Throwing on a pair of sunglasses before you head outside is one of the best things you can do for your eyes year-round! On especially sunny days, consider throwing on a hat for extra good measure. The brim will provide soothing shade to protect from UV rays and squinting, so your eyes stay healthy and your skin stays wrinkle-free!