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How to Improve Your Eyesight

How to Improve Your Eyesight

There are so many myths and misconceptions about how to improve eyesight or prevent eye problems. Stop me if you’ve heard these:

“Eating carrots is good for your eyes.”

“Videogames ruin your eyesight.”

“Exercising your eye muscles will improve your vision.”

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The trouble with these old wives’ tales about eyesight is that they lump all vision problems together and treat them the same. But the number and variety of common eyesight problems is staggering.

Some are curable, some can only be treated rather than cured, and other eye conditions are completely untreatable, though many are avoidable if you care for your eyes before you ever get any vision problems. So improving your eyesight if it’s already below average is very different from avoiding eye-damaging behaviour.

Here’s a run-down of the best ways to try to improve your eyesight, from the traditional to the technological.

Eat Well to See Well

The old wives’ tale about carrots helping you see in the dark isn’t entirely unfounded. Carrots contain a fair amount of Vitamin A, which can help to treat night blindness. And if you don’t like carrots, you can get almost as much Vitamin A from broccoli leaves, or sweet potatoes. But it’ll only work if you already have a vision problem caused by Vitamin A deficiency; for healthy eyes, extra carrots will make no difference.

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Other healthy foods for your eyes include green leafy vegetables and fish. A diet with plenty of these foods is one of the reasons why the rate of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that causes a blind spot in the centre of your visual field, is falling in the developed world.

Exercise to Treat Focus Issues

Yes, eye exercises can improve your eyesight, but only if you suffer from an eye condition like double vision, uncoordinated eye movements, crossed eyes or an inability to cross your eyes, all of which hamper your ability to focus your vision.

A review of scientific evidence shows that no amount of eyeball exercise will cure nearsightedness, longsightedness, astigmatism, or the gradual blurriness of close-up focus that comes with increasing age.

Avoid Eye Strain

Too much strain on your eyes can lead to problems with your eyesight in the short term and the long term.

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No matter what you’re doing, stop every 20 minutes or so to look at something else. If you’ve been doing up-close work, focus on a distant object for half a minute; if you’ve been staring out into the distance, look at something close by (your own hands, for example). The change in distance helps to prevent straining the muscles that adjust the focus of your eyes.

Another source of eye strain is light itself. Ultraviolet light damages your eyes, so wear UV-protective sunglasses to help prevent deterioration of your vision.

And bear in mind that our eyes evolved to handle light from the sun or a flame, so the electric light from streetlamps, computer screens and LEDs may cause more eye strain than natural light. Even that isn’t a sure thing, though; the benefits of electrically-lit experiences can outweigh the downsides.

Play High-Adrenaline Videogames

You might think certain activities, like watching TV or playing videogames, are pretty much guaranteed to make your eyesight worse. That’s not necessarily true.

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Some videogames may help to improve your eyesight. Brain and sight scientists say that playing first-person shooter games like Medal of Honor leads to improvements in eyesight, including detail perception and visual processing speed. This applies even to gamers with healthy eyes, as well as to patients with “lazy eye” problems. Check out this TEDx talk for more benefits of videogames:

Make the Most of Technology

Natural ways to improve your eyesight may sound appealing to people with healthy eyes, but if you suffer from near- or long-sightedness then the question of how to improve eyesight can be answered most effectively by science and technology. Eyeglasses or contact lenses will instantly improve your visual focus, while laser surgery is a far more complex and permanent procedure with a recovery period before you experience the benefits.

Whatever condition your eyes are in, take good care of them and give them a rest every once in a while!

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Sophie Lizard

A writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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