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It’s easy to take your eyes for granted. Unless you have a pre-existing condition, you might not pay attention to your eye health until you have problems. You will also likely experience vision changes as you age. In addition to regular visits to an eye doctor, there are natural ways to keep your eyes healthy and minimize age-related changes.

Eat More Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Antioxidants, including lutein and beta-carotene, are essential for protecting your eyes against sun damage. Make sure to load up your plate with plenty of yellow and red peppers, carrots and dark leafy greens for lunch and dinner. Prepare some nutritious sides using these vegetables in any season, and test out different recipes to incorporate several antioxidant-rich foods in every meal. Eating more antioxidant-rich foods could help to prevent many eye health issues and protect the macula from sun damage.

Add More Vitamin E to Your Diet

The American Optometric Association recommends eating more foods that are high in vitamin E. This is a powerful antioxidant that may play a role in reducing the risk of macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts. Foods that are high in vitamin E include wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanut butter and sweet potatoes.

Reduce the Sugar in Your Diet

A high-sugar, high-carb diet puts you at risk for diabetes and vision problems. The American Diabetes Association warns that high blood sugar levels may temporarily impair vision and cause other eye issues. Take steps to reduce or eliminate the sugar in your diet to keep blood sugar levels in check. If you are at risk for diabetes, or have been diagnosed with diabetes, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions to keep blood sugar at a healthy level.

Massage Your Eyes

Fatigue and stress wear on your eyes and cause blurred vision. Get into a routine of massaging the area around your eyes and your temples to increase circulation to these areas. Even giving your eyes a break when you’re at the computer for a long time can help keep your eyes healthy. Tilt your head back and close your eyes for a few minutes to give your eyes some much-needed rest in the middle of a stressful day.

Get Enough Sleep

A lack of sleep puts extra stress on your body and make it difficult to focus as you go about your busy day. Make sure you’re getting plenty of quality sleep each night, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. If you have difficulty falling asleep, try drinking chamomile tea or taking a hot bath. Lavender essential oil can also help you relax before bed. Adequate sleep ensures that your eyes get enough rest and your body has time to repair itself each night.

Your eyes are a valuable asset. Some simple lifestyle changes will help keep them at their best now and in the years ahead.

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