Eyesight is one of the most amazing things our body is capable of. And yet, unless vision problems creep in, we often don’t do anything to safeguard it. We may even head out on sunny days without wearing sunglasses, even though it takes only a second to grab them.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to reassess habits and develop new ones, including a better eye care routine. Paying a bit of attention to your eyes can go a long way to support and even improve vision in the years to come.

At the beginning of 2024, we want to share with you some simple but powerful eye health tips. Read on to find out how to strengthen your eyesight and ward off dry eye disease and other eye conditions.

1. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

You hear it all the time but it’s worth repeating, simply because it’s one of the best eye health tips around – eat more fruits and vegetables.

More than providing antioxidants and vitamins, fruits and vegs hydrate you, make you feel full, and have soluble fiber that’s good for digestion and that slows down the rise in blood glucose levels.

crates with fruits and vegetables at the market seen from the side

When you eat more fruits and vegetables, you feel full and nourished for longer and won’t be as tempted to eat processed foods. That said, eating more whole foods calls for some planning as far as buying, storing, and cooking them goes.

2. Avoid Processed Foods

Processed foods are often high in salt (sodium) and added sugar or refined carbs. Foods with high sodium levels raise blood pressure and increase the risk of related eye problems.

High-carb, high-sugar foods raise blood sugar levels and can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, a condition that increases the risk of diabetic retinopathy.

What’s more, processed foods are generally low in nutrients and high in calories and can lead to weight gain. Obesity has been associated with age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

3. Apply a Warm Compress

Your eyes can dry out for many reasons, from spending too much time in front of screens to walking in the wind. A busy schedule that doesn’t leave you enough time to cook healthy meals every day can also get in the way.

But instead of reaching out for the bottle with artificial tears, you can make a warm compress. It’s a quick and inexpensive way to improve vision when dry eyes are making your sight blurry.

4. Take an Eye Exam

When is the last time you had an eye exam? If it’s been more than two years, it’s a good time to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor.

Many eye diseases, including dry eye disease, can creep in with initial symptoms that are so mild you can easily ignore them.

eye seen on the monitor of an eye exam device with woman seated behind it in the background and blurry eye doctor face in the foreground

It’s also a good idea to check your vision for any corrections that may be needed. If your eyes tire quickly, you have difficulties focusing, or suffer regular headaches, it could be because you need glasses, or to upgrade your existing eyewear prescription.

Haven’t been to an eye exam in a long time? Eye exams today are quick and painless, so you have nothing to worry about.

5. Take Constant Breaks from Screens

Even if you’re not able to reduce your screen time, you can still take regular breaks every 20 minutes or so. Look away at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Or simply close your eyes. Known as the 20-20-20 rule, this will give your eyes much needed rest.

Having screen-free zones or hours in the house can also help you forget about screens and improve the quality of the time you spend with loved ones. And while you’re at it, you may also want to plan more time outdoors.

Walks in the park, hikes, or playing your favorite outdoor sport can all be fun ways to increase time spent outside.

6. But Don’t Forget to Wear Sunglasses with UV Protection

UV radiation from sunlight can damage the eyes and increase the risk of cataracts, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration. If you’ve been reading our eye health blog, you must have heard this before.

But do you wear sunglasses that provide good UV protection when you go out during daytime, including on overcast days?

It all becomes easier if you have a pair of sunglasses that fit you well and that you enjoy wearing. From the size and shape of the frame to the tint of the lens, all these details matter. That’s why it’s a good idea to shop for sunglasses in a local store where you can try them out.

7. Get Better Quality Sleep

When thinking about how to improve eyesight naturally, sleep also helps. Sleep plays an essential role in maintaining the health of your eyes.

During deep sleep, blood flow to the eyes increases, delivering nutrients and removing harmful toxins and irritants. This helps repair cells in the eyes.

man stretching his arms in bed in the morning after a good night's sleep

What’s more, sleep is beneficial for the tear glands and tear film. It helps lubricate and moisturize your eyes. Lack of sleep has been associated with a higher risk of dry eye disease and glaucoma. Check our post on sleep hygiene tips for better sleep every night.

8. Exercise Regularly

Exercise may protect against specific eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Exercise also helps you maintain a healthy body weight, which can ward off diabetes and other chronic diseases that over time can affect eye health.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise 5-6 days a week. Low-impact aerobic exercise like walking, swimming, or cycling are great ways to move more without straining your body.

9. Take a Natural Eye Health Supplement

Taking a plant-based supplement can be a natural way to improve vision if you’re suffering from dry eye disease or tired eyes.

By feeding your eyes nutrients that may be lacking from your diet, natural supplements can support vision health in the digital age. For this reason, taking one is great even if you don’t suffer from an eye disease.

SightC Natural Dry Eye Supplement brings together goji berries with other superfoods to provide lutein, zeaxanthin, antioxidants, and other nutrients that protect your eyes from free radicals that occur naturally.

Blueberry Gummies are made from Canadian freeze-dried blueberries and sweetened with monk fruit. They provide anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that has been shown to have a host of benefits for dry eye disease and eye health in general, as well as other nutrients.

You can take SightC and Blueberry Gummies at home, at work, or while you travel. And since they are sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan, you can easily incorporate them into any type of diet.

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