Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that eye diseases are related to deficiencies in the liver and kidneys and result from an imbalance in the body. There are many ways to improve eye health and prevent damage down the road. Finding the root of the problem and taking preventative measures is important when it comes to eye health. The following are 7 tips for healthy vision:
Eat foods that support eye health
Certain foods can have a great impact on not only overall health, but vision as well. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been known to improve eye health. Below are some foods that are great to eat on a daily basis.
- Carrots: Carrots are filled with beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which is good for retina health and overall eye function.
- Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, arugula, and other similar greens are full of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin that have been shown to lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Bottom line, up your salad intake!
- Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and trout are packed with the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. DHA is known to help chronic dry eyes. Those with dry eye syndrome tend to have a lower level of DHA than average. Another option can be fish oil supplements with DHA.
- Eggs: Eggs are overall a great health food, filled with calcium, iron, zinc and folate. Eggs also have lutein and vitamin A, which helps night blindness and dry eyes.
- Whole grains: Whole grains are another food that can be important in any diet for a healthy lifestyle. Grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, and spelt have a low glycemic index, which can help lower the risk of macular degeneration.
- Citrus fruits and berries: Not only are they tasty, but fruit such as oranges, berries and grapefruit are full of vitamin C, which can reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Legumes: Legumes such as kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and lentils contain high amounts of bioflavonoids and zinc, which can help retina health and reduce the risk of eye disease.
- Pistachios. Most nuts are good for health, but pistachios are especially helpful for the eyes. This nut contains lutein and zeaxanthin as well at vitamin E. These vitamins can significantly lower the risk of cataracts and other eye diseases.
Give it a rest
If you’re like most working adults and spend hours on the computer every day, make sure you’re taking breaks from screen time to reduce eye strain. The best strategy is the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes looked 20 feet away from your computer for 20 seconds.
Protect your eyes
Protect your eyes just like you would your skin when in the sun. Make sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. It is important to find sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB protection.
Know your history
Many eye problems can be genetic. See if family members have any eye conditions and make sure to get regular check ups if this is the case to help maintain healthy vision.
There are many health reasons to quit smoking. A lot of people aren’t aware that smoking can expose your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress, which damages blood vessels. Smoking can increase your risk for many health problems that affect the eye.
Take care of your contacts
It is easy to get into bad habits when it comes to contact wearing. Make sure to replace your contacts at the recommended time. Wash your hands before touching your contacts and take them out at night to give your eyes the rest and oxygen it needs.
A number of studies found that acupuncture may have positive effects on people who suffer from chronic dry eye. One study showed that acupuncture could help reduce tear loss that those with dry eye usually experience. Common eye problems that acupuncture can treat include glaucoma, cataracts, chronic dry eyes, macular degeneration, optic neuritis, and optic atrophy.
Follow these tips and your eyes will thank you! Nutrition counseling and acupuncture are just two of the ways Integrative Acupuncture can help your eyes find comfort and relief. Contact us with any questions or schedule an appointment online today.