By Pavitra Sampath
Vision problems are quickly becoming a common disease in this day and age. With an exponential increase in the number of hours we spend in front of a screen, the phenomenon comes as no surprise. Even children are spending more time in front of computer or TV straining their eyes for no reason. Before knowing how you can improve your eyesight naturally, here’s what you need to know –
Why do your eyes get strained?
When we look at an image, the eyes focus on it and the light rays enter the eyes through the iris; this is then focused on the cornea or lens of the eye. The image formed is then transmitted to the brain, which tells us what we are seeing. All this activity needs the coordination of both the structures of the eyes and their muscles.
When we look at objects like a computer or phone screen the eyes and the muscles around the eyes are worked excessively as they are trying to adjust to the light that is emitted from the screen. This constant adjustment to quickly changing images or text is what causes the structures within the eye to get strained. Here are 4 easy tips to prevent eye strain and computer vision syndrome.
According to leading eye surgeon Dr Rohit Shetty of Narayana Netralaya, ‘The human eye was not made to look at images we see on the television or phone. The adjustment it has to make is one of the greatest reasons for their deterioration.’ In order to rectify this damage Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, ‘It is necessary to improve the circulation to our eyes and the optic nerves to keep them healthy, as they are constantly at work.’
Here’s what you can do to improve eyesight naturally
While visual errors are mitigated by a large number of factors one of the leading causes is strain and fatigue of the eye. To help you help your eyes recover, here are some ayurvedic tips according that will keep the damage to your eyes in check.
#1 Stimulate your eye muscles
It basically involves stimulating your eye muscles. This technique is simple, but must be done every morning. On waking up, wash your face with water (preferably cool or a little cold water). Then fill your mouth with water, close your eyes and splash cold water onto your eyes. It stimulates the muscles of the eyes, due to the pressure exerted by the water filled in your mouth. The splash of cold water on your face helps enliven the nerve endings and rejuvenates the skin. Here are 5 common vision problems your child could suffer from.
#2 Wash your eyes
Ayurvedic practitioners say that one must avoid splashing water directly into the eyes; instead you can use a tridoishic eyewash. To make this eyewash, soak triphla churna in water over night. In the morning strain the liquid and wash your eyes with it twice a day. This eyewash helps relax and relieve stress in the eyes.
#3 Massage over worked eyes
This is a great exercise for people who work for long hours in front of computers. Hold your eyebrows between your thumb and index finger, in such a way that the thumb is above the eyebrow and index finger below. Now, gently press and straighten your eyebrows, exerting gentle pressure on all the points. Then, take your thumb and gently roll it around your eye ball, i.e: along your eye socket. Do this exercise every three to four hours to improve the circulation around your eyes. This exercise improves circulation around the eyes helping them bounce back from the fatigue of constantly looking at a computer screen.
#4 Exercise to improve eyesight
This exercise is done to stimulate the muscles around your eye balls (that are present within the eye socket). Rotate your eyeballs, first to the right and left, then upwards and downwards. Do this in the clockwise and anti-clockwise direction for about three to four repetitions.
#5 Give your eyes some much needed rest
This technique has been practiced in ayurveda for a number of years. Later picked up by optometrist Dr Bates, it was named palming. To do this, rub the palms of both your hands for 30 seconds – till you feel warm between the two palms – then place them gently over the eyes. Hold this position for about one minute or till the heat decreases. Slowly open your eyes. Beware not to look directly at bright light after this; allow your eyes to gradually acclimatize to the change in the environment. Read about 10 tips to choose the right glasses for your eyes.
#6 Bat those eyelids
Blinking is the eyes natural way to renew the moisture in the eyes and give it some much needed relief. To help your eyes relax, make it a habit to blink after every five to six seconds.
# 7 Get some shut eye
Sound sleep is very essential. It not only allows your body to heal and rest, it also gives your eyes much needed relief from bright lights and strain. Sleeping also is a time your body repairs itself, so getting enough time to nap helps the renewal process in the body, especially in the eyes. Experts say that meditating for about ten minutes before you go to bed is the best way to ensure sound sleep. (Read: Yoga to beat insomnia)
#8 Diet for healthy, stress free eyes
Apart from all the exercises you perform your diet is an essential aid to the repair and renewal process. Here are some diet tips you should follow for healthy eyes:
Dry fruits and nuts: Almonds, raisins and figs are elixirs for the eyes. To help them cope with the demands of your day-to-day activities with this home remedy. Soak six to ten almonds, fifteen raisins and two anjeers overnight in some water. Eat them on an empty stomach in the morning. The high amount of fiber and vitamins in these fruits helps speed up the digestive processes and helps the body get rid of toxins, thereby helping in resolving eye related problems. Here’s what you need to know about dry fruits & their health benefits.
Carrot and Amla: Another good home remedy for eye related disorders is to have one cup of carrot and amla juice, on an empty stomach in the morning. Carrot and amla have a lot of vitamin A and are store houses of antioxidants that help beat the ill effects of oxidative stress in the body.
Copper-rich foods: The benefits of copper as a micronutrient are innumerable, but one of its greatest benefits is that it is a very potent antibacterial agent. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend drinking one liter of water, stored overnight in a copper vessel, lends innumerable healing properties to the eyes and other vital organs. Read about 10 benefits of drinking water from a copper vessel.
Vitamin A-rich foods: Include foods rich in vitamin A into your daily diet. Foods like carrots, green leafy vegetables, amla, oranges, anjeer or fig and almonds are packed with this essential vitamin.
Non-vegetarian foods: Lastly, avoid non-vegetarian, spicy and preservative laden foods. They lead to the build-up of toxins, which the body finds extremely difficult to flush out. These toxins build up and lead to various diseases including vision related problems.