It’s important to take care of our eyes because we only get one set. Eye disorders like macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma can threaten our vision. Whether you or a family member struggle with eye health, it’s important to do what you can to prevent vision loss.
We have protocols to keep our teeth clean and healthy, but we don’t do much when it comes to our eye health. As a result, we’ve settled as a society that defaults to glasses and contacts. Eye health problems are common, but they shouldn’t be.
I struggle with one myself (I wear contacts). My wife and I try to do proactive things through our nutrition and through exercises to strengthen our eyes, so we’re not stuck with long-term poor eye health.
Imagine if you had one pair of glasses, and that was the only way you could see. You would do your best to make sure those glasses didn’t break, right? Now, think of your eyes as those glasses. You want to take care of your eyes because they are your only way to see, and there’s no replacing them.
8 Eye Exercises to Improve Eye Health
There are some simple eye exercises I suggest for anyone with eye issues do to help strengthen the eyes:
If you’re new to palming, here’s how to do it (need a visual demonstration? Watch the YouTube video at the beginning of this blog):
- Hold your arms out in front of you with your palms up
- Close your eyes and slowly move the middle of your palms toward your eyes
- Press your palms against your eyelids for 3-5 second intervals for a minute or two and gently apply pressure
This stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. That system is your healing, relaxation, and de-stress system. Palming will give your eyes a break while stimulating your de-stress response.
2) Head Rolls
Doing head rolls can help release the tension of a lot of the muscles in your head and neck. This is especially good if you are sitting at a desk all day.
To do a head roll:
- Sit up straight
- Slowly roll your head toward either shoulder
- Keep going around to the other shoulder
- Keep going until you get back to where you started
Complete 6 circles clockwise and counterclockwise. It’s important to take these slow and to keep in mind that you don’t need to go as far out as you can.
This is good for your eyes because it relaxes the tension that builds up around them, which can improve vision and decrease headaches.
3) Eye Rolls
Eye rolls are similar to head rolls.
We’re going to slowly move our eyes in a slow, complete circle in both a clockwise and counterclockwise fashion.
This gives the eyes a break from looking at (whether it’s driving or looking at a computer screen), what it has been focused on for many hours of the day.
4) 3 Finger Massage
The 3 finger massage is very similar to the classic temporal massage.
- We place our index, middle, and ring fingers against the sides of our eyes
- Pull back from there towards our ears
- Be careful not to put your fingers in your eyes while doing this, because you could scratch them
- While we’re massaging, you can work your way back to the temple
There are dozens of muscles that are working hard all day long so that you can move your eyes, see, and pick up on things. This stimulation helps de-stress the system as well as give those eye muscles a bit of blood flow and a bit of relief.
5) Massage Occiput
Number five, we’re going to go to the back of the head right at the occiput, which is the bump at the back of your head and is the base of the skull.
I do this regularly. You can use your thumbs or your fingers. We just want to massage the bone there.
This can be very tender for some people. These occipital nerves come all the way up around the head. They control the muscles of the face and the sensation of the head. You’re stimulating these nerves and muscles. It’s also very helpful for the inner ear, for those of you that struggle with tinnitus, to relax the muscles up in this area.
6) Pencil Pushups
Number six, pencil pushups.
- To perform pencil pushups, hold a pencil, marker, pen, or something similar, at a distance in front of you
- Focus on the cap or tip, and slowly move the marker or pen toward the bridge of your nose until you start to see double
- Once you see double, then you slowly move it back in front of you
Pencil pushups are going to help the convergence of the eyes. It’s going to activate muscles that we are typically not engaging in.
Now, of course, you blink, but you’d be surprised how little you blink, especially when you’re focused on a computer screen or a device.
So we want to be very intentional with our blinking for one minute. Close the eyes on their own for two to three seconds and then open them.
We want to stimulate tear production and just provide rest for the eyes that are constantly being open, and getting dried out. This is very important for those who struggle with dry eyes and really all eye conditions.
8) Time Out
Take time away from your contacts and switch to your glasses. Take a timeout from your glasses even if you’ll be a little bit blind for a while.
Give your eyes a rest, and allow them to adapt a bit. And the more that you can look off into the distance, the better. I’m sitting in my office right now, I can see into the distance out the window here. We don’t look far as often as we should. A lot of it is very close up.
These eight exercises can be done in minutes, as many times as you’d like to help with the strain on the muscles, dryness, and overall health of the eye. If you move your body and you exercise, why not exercise your eyes?
If you’re brushing your teeth and flossing, why aren’t we giving care to the eyes? It’s the same concept.
Glasses Important for Eye Health
Now let’s move into glasses. The two types that I want to talk about are very important for eye health. The first one is sunglasses. We are taught to wear sunglasses all the time when in the sun and I would actually disagree with that.
Research shows that our eyes do need some absorption of sunlight. That is nourishment and food for the eyes.
So when you’re out in the sun for up to 30 minutes, I would recommend getting some exposure to the eyes. If you spend extended time in the sun, beyond 30 minutes, then you would want to protect your eyes. Just like you’d want to protect your skin.
Getting exposure to your eyes is beneficial for the nutrient value of your eyes. Beyond that, we don’t want to burn them. That’s where sunglasses become important, but we overuse them oftentimes.
2. Blue-light Glasses
These are simple glasses that can be worn by anyone, with or without a prescription. While you’re looking at a screen, they can filter out the blue rays that are coming into the eye that dry out and strain the eye faster.
Blue lights are more dangerous at night, because the exposure to the blue light causes that strain and fatigue that we talked about, but also interacts with your body’s production of melatonin. Your sleep hormone makes it harder to fall asleep.
So if you’re using a device right before you go to bed, you’ll want to switch it to yellow light mode, which a lot of phones have now, or you can put on blue light glasses.
These foods are important to maintain eye health. They provide the nutrients most needed for our eyes.
- Carrots – supply the vitamin that is crucial for the eye, vitamin A.
- Greens – are very important for the eyes because of their antioxidant ability.
- Citrus – supplies antioxidants as well as bioflavonoids, which are very important for eye health and microcirculation.
- Berries and peppers – are very important for antioxidants.
So if you do struggle with glaucoma or macular degeneration, more of these fruits and vegetables in your diet will be beneficial to stimulate the blood flow as well as prevent further damage.
Water is the most important when it comes to eye health. When you deprive your body of water, your eyes really suffer.
You should aim to drink half your body weight in ounces on a daily basis. It’s a simple thing that a lot of people with eye problems, especially dry eyes, really overlook. So we’ve got to have proper fluids going into the body.
Now you may be in a position that I was in, where your body isn’t absorbing water very well. That’s where minerals in your water, like our electrolyte and Greens powders, can help out.
Greens powder is something that I use to drive water into the body and make sure it gets absorbed. That includes the eyes. You’re getting the antioxidants with the greens as well as absorption with those greens.
8 Vitamins & Nutrients Beneficial for the Eyes
Now let’s talk about vitamins and nutrients that can be very beneficial for the eyes.
I have eight of them here that I think are the most important for all eye health conditions.
1. Vitamin A
It’s needed for your eyes’ light-sensing cells.
A lack of Vitamin A can cause a lot of dryness. It can also cause night blindness. So proper Vitamin A in the system is important. You don’t need to overdo it to the point that you tax the liver, but a solid dose of Vitamin A on a daily basis is a good idea.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, involved in the production of collagen, which is important for the skin, hair, nails, and eyes. The highest concentration of vitamin C in your body is in your eye.
Vitamin C is 15 times more concentrated in your eye than in your blood. So, could it be that the degenerative processes, swelling, and damage in your eye are coming from too little vitamin C in your diet? Well, our eyes suffer first when it comes to vitamin C deprivation.
So, getting vitamin C in your system, keeping that in on a daily basis through our vitamin C powder or through our electrolyte powder, which also has vitamin C in it, will really help the concentration of vitamin C in the eye.
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a very important antioxidant that’s critical for preventing cataracts in the eye.
It also helps people with presbyopia regain their vision. Its antioxidant power is super important.
Without adequate levels of it, the body can not utilize the vitamin A that it receives. Zinc aids vitamin A being used in the system. We want to be taking zinc with Vitamin A.
5. Lutein & Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are incredibly important for protecting the eyes from bright blue light, from drying out, and from damage to the eyes.
There are two types of zeaxanthin, and then there’s one type of lutein.
Now, these vitamins are essential for the body and in our diet at a proper ratio to fight off the damage that is created specifically in the eyes. These two nutrients at their perfect ratio, at their highest level, are found in Marigold flowers of all things.
Now you’re probably not gonna go around eating Marigold flowers, but the Marigold flower holds a proper ratio of the two types of zeaxanthin and lutein that you need in your diet.
From a Marigold flower, there’s demonstrated improvements in outcomes associated with blue light exposure, too much digital device, eye strain, fatigue, headache frequencies, glare tolerance, maybe when you’re driving at night.
These three carotenoids also significantly reduce stress, which puts a lot of strain on the eyes, the amount of cortisol inside of your blood and symptoms that maybe come from emotional and physical health, it helps to optimize these things.
It improves sleep quality. So your eyes can heal better, especially if you have prolonged exposure to blue light, very important for those and digital devices, a lot of computer work. So it helps fight that off.
It also helps skin tone and skin lightening, the brightening of it, and skin protection.
Now another one along those lines, one of the very powerful and popular antioxidants is astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that is one of the very few that can cross the barrier of your blood and brain, the blood-brain barrier. And it can cross into and get into that organ and go straight to the eye.
Very few can get across that barrier of your blood and get into nourishing the brain, which obviously the eyes are connected to, and it helps defend against dangerous oxidative damage.
This is important with cataracts and macular degeneration to have astaxanthin in the system or for the rest of us to not allow that damage in the first place.
The seventh one that I would highlight is omega-3s. Omega-3s are powerhouses when it comes to lowering the inflammation in your body.
Specifically, two types, EPA and DHA are the ones that are found in fish oils and the fish oils they can help the deficiency in your body. Because if you have that, it helps raise it faster and lower the inflammation levels that can impair vision when you’re low in these types of fish oils, very important for children, especially during development.
Also been shown to reduce the symptoms of dry eyes pretty quickly as well with proper omega-3s that are high in EPA and DHA, the fish oil form.
8. Maqui Berry
From my research, maqui berry. is the most important one as far as specific studies showing its benefits to eyes.
Maqui berry has nine times the amount of antioxidants than a goji berry. So it’s natural and it safely supports the health of the eye because of its really high antioxidant content.
It prevents dry eyes by quenching oxidative stress. It neutralizes it, almost better than anything I’ve seen from us from a research standpoint. It also restores the tear fluid.
So a lot of eyes get very dried out, degenerate, and get a lot of stress on them because we don’t have that tear production in the tear glands.
In clinical studies, berries decreased symptoms associated with dry eyes, sore eyes, fatigue, and redness.
So it was very effective at neutralizing the health of the eye and just has a high affinity of going straight to that organ, in proper amounts.
So there are my big five when it comes to eye health.
- The exercises can be done daily. If you’re brushing your teeth if you’re working out in the gym, what are you doing for your eyes?
- Properly utilizing glasses, get a little sunlight, but then protect them if it’s long-term exposure and protect yourself from the blue light of devices
- Focus on some eye foods: fruits and veggies
- Drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water per day
- Get the most important eight blends of vitamins and minerals when it comes to eye health
If you need a resource for that, I have an eye health support supplement that you can utilize as well as the notes and the exercise demonstration for it. So you can really put together a full lifestyle approach for your eyes. The minerals and the nutrients that your eye needs, so you can experience real health.