Ask the Pharmacist: Natural ways to improve eyesight
Just imagine what it would be like to read with more clarity and be able to focus better and see the leaves on the trees without squinting. How about reading a book without discomfort?
We live in a time where we can correct many eyesight problems with professional help. For people with problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, there are eyeglasses, contact lenses, LASIK and refractive surgery options.
Today, I’d like to share some other options you can do, as well as the controllable lifestyle factors that help you protect your eyesight naturally.
Particularly, you should focus on retinal and macular health, light and dark adaptation, eye fatigue and strain, and crispness of vision. Maintaining eye comfort and moisture is also important.
Here are some valuable tips …
Eat foods rich in saffron
Saffron may improve were retinal sensitivity, color perception and visual contrast according to studies on supplementation. So, I think incorporating this spice could be helpful. You can add this spice to rice, soup and sauce recipes and even marinades.
Consume more fresh spices
Carotenoids are natural dyes that impart orange color to fruits and vegetables. Two potent ones are lutein and zeaxanthin which sweep away poisonous, dirty free radicals before they harm the structure of your eyes. Foods rich in lutein include fresh spices like basil and parsley. Other foods include leek, spinach, red peppers and kale.
Minimize or eliminate smoking
Smoking damages the eyes and may lead to blindness because of macular degeneration and cataracts. If you’re smoking a pack a day, and you cut that in half, even that would help! Smokers need additional vitamin C because nicotine is a drug mugger of C.
Control blood sugar
Having hyperglycemia is a known risk factor for many eye problems including a condition where the high blood sugar (which acts like an acid wash) causes damage to the capillaries of the light-sensors in the back of the eye (the retina). It’s called diabetic retinopathy. Hyperglycemia also contributes to glaucoma. Managing blood sugar through diet, exercise and herbal supplements is ideal, and this topic is covered extensively in my book, “Diabetes Without Drugs.”
Try tinted plastic reading sheets
There are many brands of this available online and the most useful colors are orange, yellow, blue and red. The sheets are placed on top of any reading literature (magazine, newspaper, novel, journal, etc.), and they reduce harshness of bright paper. They may help with conditions that affect reading such as dyslexia, color blindness and/or some people with autism-related reading issues.
Invest in good eye vitamins
Shamefully, the ingredients known to help are put into the commercial brands that don’t bother to either enteric coat or encapsulate the ingredients in acid-resistant capsules otherwise it is not doing you any good.
As for medications to treat eye conditions, those are always an excellent choice so remain on whatever your ophthalmologist has prescribed. If we take good care of our macula, cornea and retina now, we’ll have them for a lifetime.
Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.