How to Improve Eyesight Naturally: 7 Proven Tips for Better Vision
This article discusses natural ways to help improve eyesight and lower your risk of eye damage. It also provides guidance on when to contact a doctor to improve vision.
Some vitamins and minerals provide antioxidants or anti-inflammatory benefits that can help slow macular degeneration and vision loss.
Macular degeneration is a condition in which the eye’s central vision deteriorates over time, usually due to aging. It can lead to partial or complete vision loss.
The National Eye Institute conducted a large-scale study between 1992 and 2006 that included research on age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study followed more than 4,700 participants between ages 55 and 80 to test combinations of nutrients and their effect on eye health. These nutrients included:
Over the 10-year course of observation, researchers found that people who took a combination of antioxidants, zinc, and copper had a 25–30% lower risk of progressing from intermediate to advanced AMD.
Food sources for these nutrients include:
- citrus fruits
It may be difficult to consume the recommended daily amounts of these vitamins and minerals through diet alone. Supplements can help boost levels of these nutrients. However, people who smoke or have smoked in the past must avoid taking beta carotene supplements.
Always talk with a doctor before beginning any type of supplement.
Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant that are naturally present in the eye and help protect the lens and retina from light damage.
Types of carotenoids include:
- beta carotene
Food sources of carotenoids include:
- orange fruits and vegetables, such as mango and carrots
- dark, leafy greens, such as kale or spinach
- egg yolks
Carotenoids are also available as supplements. Always talk with a doctor before beginning any vitamin or nutrient supplement.
Wearing sunglasses when outside — during all seasons, not just summer — can protect your eyes from UV damage. This includes cloudy days, since UV rays still pass through.
Look for sunglasses that provide 100% UV400 protection and block both UVA and UVB sunlight.
Children can also experience eye damage due to UV light, so make sure they have proper fitting sunglasses, too.
Many eye doctors recommend practicing the 20-20-20 rule, especially in today’s age of consistent digital device use.
However, a small 2022 study found that people may require longer periods of eye rest to show significant improvement in vision.
Among the many health reasons to quit smoking, benefits to your eye health include:
- improved vision due to reduced damage to your eye from smoke
- better night vision
- lower cholesterol, which lowers your risk of eye damage due to plaque deposits
- reduced blood pressure, which lowers your risk of nerve and blood vessel damage in the eye
If you smoke and are trying to quit, talk with your doctor about smoking cessation strategies and treatments.
According to a small 2013 study, eye exercises may help improve accuracy and letter recognition. However, the study reported that experts need more research to evaluate whether eye exercises actually enhance vision.
If you experience changes in your vision due to extensive computer use, a treatment called vision therapy can help improve eye focus and train your brain and eyes to work better together.
Talk with an eye doctor about vision therapy options if you have concerns about how computer use affects your eyes.
Touching your eyes with dirty hands, such as when handling contact lenses, can easily infect them with germs, bacteria, and diseases. These can lead to irritation, dryness, and blurriness in your vision.
Always wash your hands before touching your eyes, replace or clean contact lenses regularly, and store contacts in a proper disinfecting solution made specifically for contact lenses.
To maintain your eye health, contact an eye doctor regularly for annual checkups and dilated eye exams. This can help detect eye conditions early and begin treatment before they worsen or cause permanent vision loss.
Contact an eye doctor if you have changes in vision that disrupt your ability to perform or enjoy daily activities. An ophthalmologist or optometrist can discuss corrective lenses or medical treatments to improve your eyesight.
Get urgent care if you experience symptoms including:
- sudden loss of vision
- severe eye pain
- double vision
- symptoms of an eye infection, such as redness and discharge
Here are some common questions about how to improve eyesight. Ann Marie Griff, O.D., has reviewed the answers.
Can you improve eyesight naturally?
There are some natural ways to protect your eyesight and improve your eye health. They include eating a nutritious diet with vitamins and minerals, quitting smoking, and wearing sunglasses when outdoors.
Can I restore my 20/20 vision naturally?
No, it is not possible to restore your 20/20 vision naturally. Natural steps like a wholesome diet and quitting smoking can help protect your eyesight, but they cannot reverse changes in vision. Talk with an eye doctor about medical treatments to improve your eyesight.
Which fruits are good for your eyes?
Fruits that are high in vitamins A, C, and E can be beneficial for the eyes. These include citrus fruits, such as lemons and oranges. Mangos are a good source of beta carotene, and tomatoes contain high amounts of lycopene. Both of these are carotenoids that can help improve eye health.
Natural ways to protect your eyesight and improve eye health include eating a diet with antioxidants and other minerals, quitting smoking, wearing sunglasses, and resting your eyes frequently.
Contact an eye doctor for changes in vision that interfere with daily activities. Get urgent care for sudden vision loss, severe eye pain, or double vision.