5 Secrets to Preserve Your Eyesight

More than ever we are using our eyes to stare at small type and images on computer screens, televisions, and cellphones—a modern trend that leads to eye fatigue and an increase in age-related eye problems. But diminished eyesight does not have to be an inevitable part of living long. Use these 5 secrets to promote and preserve the health of your eyes.

1. A juice to brighten your eyesight

An age-old Chinese folk remedy for clearing the vision is a blended juice made from celery, peppermint, and Chinese parsley. Research has caught up with this wisdom, and we now know that luteolin, an antioxidant bioflavonoid found in these three ingredients, has been found to provide the best protection of cell DNA from radiation. Some evidence shows that luteolin helps protect the eye from UV radiation damage, as well as from glycation, a process in which sticky sugar molecules bind up protein, potentially damaging the retina. Luteolin also promotes healthy blood sugar levels and regulates insulin sensitivity. Blend together celery, peppermint, and Chinese parsley in a blender with a little water or a juicer. Drink this fresh juice daily to see well into the future!

2. Eat for eye health
Let nature help you maintain vision health with its bounty of beneficial foods for eyesight. Spinach is full of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect your retina from the macular degeneration that comes with age. Don't forget: fat increases lutein absorption, so remember to sauté your spinach in a little olive oil. (More leafy greens for a long life.) Other lutein and zeaxanthin vegetables include spinach, kale, turnip greens, collards, mustard greens, squash, green peas, broccoli, pumpkin, and corn. Chlorophyll-rich algae like spirulina, chlorella, and blue-green algae possess nutrients that are beneficial for the eyes. Carrots, loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene, are also a great help to your eyes. Bilberry, a cousin of blueberry, boosts blood flow to eye nerves and is also rich in antioxidants. Goji berry is used to strengthen the eyesight, so snack on them in between meals.

3. Stay hydrated
Proper hydration is essential for good eye function. So drink filtered water regularly to stay hydrated. A slow and regular intake of water creates a constant supply of water to lubricate and nourish our eyes. Drink 8 glasses of water every day.

4. Eye exercises to fight floaters
These simple exercises improve and maintain good vision and may also get rid of those pesky floaters in your eyes.

  • Rub your palms together to create heat, and then place them against your eyes for five seconds. Repeat this three times.
  • Roll your eyes in circles, starting at the top and slowly circling 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise.
  • Hold a pen at arm's length, focus your eyes on it, and slowly bring the pen closer until it's about six inches away from your nose. Then slowly move it back, keeping your eyes focused on the pen, 10 times in all.
  • Using your thumb knuckles, massage your temples in small circles, 20 times in one direction and 20 in the other. Repeat the same actions above the mid-point of the eyebrows at the forehead, then below the eyes on both sides of the bridge of the nose.
  • Take a nap on the job! Put your head back, close your eyes, and relax for three minutes.

After a month you will notice an improvement in vision and a decrease in floaters. Try to do these exercises first thing in the morning, just before bed, or whenever your eyes feel tired, like after computer use. Make sure your hands are clean and that you are relaxed. The key to progress is daily practice, so make it a habit! Additionally, take care of your eyes by wearing UV-protective sunglasses.

5. Instant eye remedies
Try these dietary and herbal remedies for overall eye health:

  • To nourish your eyes, follow Popeye's lead. Boil 4 ounces of fresh spinach in 4 cups of water. Drink this spinach tea daily to give vital nourishment to your eyes.
  • Grape seed extract (OPC) and bilberry extracts contain potent antioxidants for eye health.
  • Taking ginkgo on a daily basis has been shown to improve circulation to the eyes. Find it in a health food store.
  • When your eyes feel tired, lie down and place slices of cucumber on your eyelids to soothe the eyes and restore moisture.
  • As a general rule of thumb, eye exams should be done once every 2 to 4 years for everyone under age 40 and once every 2 years after. This way, you can detect issues before they become severe.

You can find these eye health secrets and many others in my newest book Second Spring.

I hope these help you maintain good vision well into your golden years! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

--Dr. Mao 

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To learn more about Dr. Mao and other natural health tips, go to askdrmao.com.

To purchase Dr. Mao's book, "Second Spring," click here.

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