Eye health: Nutritionist reveals foods that protect your eyes
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People who work with computers, those who spend a fair amount of time looking at their mobile phones, and those spending hours in front of the television are all at risk. Five of the warning signs of computer vision syndrome include: headaches, dry eyes, irritated eyes, blurred vision, and double vision. As screens have become a part of our everyday lives, Patel has a suggestion on how to ease troubling symptoms.
“Eye yoga exercises can condition and strengthen the eye area,” she said.
“Eye yoga might be something worth considering if you spend your days staring at a computer screen for long periods of time and suffer from computer vision syndrome.”
Eye yoga exercises
Before beginning eye yoga, make sure to remove your glasses or contact lenses.
- With your eyes staring straight ahead, rotate your eyes up toward the ceiling
- Roll your eyes to the far right
- Roll your eyes to the floor
- Roll your eyes to the far left
- Roll your eyes back to the ceiling, then move your eyes straight ahead
- Repeat two to four times, changing direction each time.
- Blink 10 times in quick succession
- Close your eyes, concentrate on breathing calmly for 30 seconds
- Repeat three to five times.
- Look straight ahead and hold your left arm outstretched in front of you, with your thumb pointing straight up
- Move your thumb to the far left and back in front of you, following your thumb with your eyes as you do so
- Repeat this exercise on the opposite side, using your right thumb.
- Sit in a comfortable position in a dark room
- Rub your palms together quickly until you start to feel the heat between them
- Cup your palms over your eyes, without pressing against the closed eyes
- Concentrate on the warmth and the darkness, this is a good exercise to incorporate in meditation practice.
- Hold one of your arms out straight with your thumb point upwards
- Following your thumb with your eyes as you bring the thumb up to your nose
- Hold this position for a few moments, focusing on the thumb, before outstretching your arm again
- Repeat this exercise five times, then close your eyes and rest.
An expert from Vision Direct, Carl Greatbanks, shares his expertise on improving eyesight.
Greatbanks recommends “adding more fruits and leafy vegetables” to your diet, as this increases the consumption of helpful nutrients, such as vitamin A, C and lutein.
Increasing nutritional intake “can even slow the progress of age-related sight loss”, said Greatbanks.
He added: “Certain vitamins can also help increase the supply of nutrients your eyes receive which will not only improve eye health but decrease the chances of eye problems, as well as eye diseases.
“The most effective vitamins for eyes include lutein and zeaxanthin. Research also suggests vitamin A, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids aid in lubricating the eye and reducing dry eye symptoms.”
Eyes should also be protected against UV rays, as overexposure is linked to cataracts, macular degeneration and photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea).
“A pair of UV protective sunglasses are all you need to stay protected from the sun’s rays, especially on lighter days when you’re out of the shade,” said Greatbanks.
Another tip is to prioritise rest, as sleeping can “rest your eyes” and “keep them clean”.
Greatbanks elaborated: “While they are below your [closed] eyelids, your eyes are being continuously lubricated.
“This washes away any dirt or dust that might have accumulated throughout the day and ensures they are fresh for the next morning.”
He is also a fan of eye yoga, agreeing with Patel that blinking consciously and palming can help to keep the eyes healthy.
“Adding these exercises to your daily routine will help keep eyes hydrated, ensuring the longevity of your vision,” said Greatbanks.
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