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Five natural ways to look after your eyes

Five natural ways to look after your eyes | Mr Vitamins
Where would we be without our eyes? We use them virtually every waking moment of the day, but most of us rarely stop to think about whether we’re taking good care of them. Here are five natural ways to look after yours and help to maintain healthy vision.

1. Stop smoking

Aside from all the other adverse effects that it has on your health, smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your eyes as it significantly increases your risk of developing certain vision problems as you get older.

2. Limit your screen time

How much time do you spend looking at a computer monitor, tablet or smartphone each day? Over the last few years, these digital devices have become increasingly central to our lives, but unfortunately, may contribute to eye problems. It’s been estimated that up to nine out of ten people who work at a computer for at least three hours per day experience screen-related eye fatigue, the symptoms of which can include feeling that your eyes are tired, strained, irritated and/or gritty. If you need to use a computer and/or other digital devices, make sure to take regular breaks to give your eyes a rest. For every hour that you work, aim to spend 5-15 minutes away from your screen, and to also take a few micro-breaks in which you focus on something around six metres from your computer for 20 seconds or so.

3. Get plenty of antioxidants

The tissues, blood vessels and other structures of the eyes are highly susceptible to oxidative stress (sometimes referred to as free radical damage), which can arise through exposure to pollution, sun exposure and other aspects of modern living. Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants is believed to offer a degree of protection for the eyes, so make sure that your diet contains a wide range of antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables, including leafy greens like spinach and broccoli, and orange-coloured veggies like carrots and sweet potato. Zinc is an important antioxidant to be aware of when it comes to eye health because it’s involved in several aspects of healthy vision, including helping to support the health of the macula (a part of the retina that’s responsible for visual acuity or sharpness) and the lens (which changes shape to allow you to focus on objects at different distances).

4. Bilberry helps relieve tired eyes

Bilberry is a rich natural source of antioxidants called anthocyanosides, which may have benefits for healthy vision and eye function, and help to maintain the health and integrity of the capillaries in and around the eyes. Bilberry and the anthocyanosides it contains may help prevent and relieve eyestrain and visual fatigue from computer usage and other activities involving intense visual concentration, such as reading, sewing and driving. It may also help the eyes to adapt to dim and variable lighting conditions (as sometimes occurs when driving, for example). When shopping for a Bilberry supplement, look for a product that’s standardised to provide consistent levels of the anthocyanosides, as these important antioxidants play a key role in the herb’s therapeutic effects on the eyes. For most people, a suitable dose is 7500mg of Bilberry extract, standardised to provide 27mg of anthocyanosides, taken 2-3 times daily.

5. Increase your intake of omega-3s

You’re probably aware that the omega-3 fats found in fish oil have protective properties to support your cardiovascular health, but did you know that they may also play a role in helping to maintain normal, healthy eyesight and eye function? In particular, the omega-3s help to support the healthy structure and function of the retina and the nerve cells of the eye.

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