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How to Improve Eyesight

By Lan Pham, Stefanie Sandler Billette, MS, ACE-CHC
There are many options to improve your eyesight or treat blurry vision. Find out more about both natural and surgical options for improving eye health.

About 11 million Americans over age 12 require vision correction to see clearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Many vision problems can be avoided with preventative measures, but others may require vision correction. Read on for more information about improving your eyesight both naturally and with vision correction.

Can You Improve Eyesight Naturally?

There are a number of non-pharmaceutical ways to nurture the health of your eyes, including:

Healthy Habits

You may be able to maintain good eyesight with healthy habits like eating well and staying active, according to the National Eye Institute. These habits can lower your risk for diseases and conditions that can lead to eye or vision problems.

“Several diseases, like diabetes, arterial hypertension, and thyroid disorders, can affect the ocular tissues, so a healthy eye can fight off these conditions better,” Jose Alfredo Vazquez Diaz, MD, FAAO, DABO, ophthalmologist with Lake Eye Associates in Tavares, Fla., tells WebMD Connect to Care. 

The CDC recommends the following habits to maintain your vision: 

  • Wear sunglasses
  • Eat a variety of vegetables
  • Avoid smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Use the “20-20-20 rule” to reduce eye strain—every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds
  • Have regular eye exams with an ophthalmologist (a medical doctor that specializes in eye health) to catch eye disease before it has a chance to damage your vision

Myopia Management

WebMD has noted that the years between the ages of 8 and 25 are critical for treating nearsightedness, or myopia. When a person who has myopia undergoes active treatment during those years, they typically have more success controlling the condition. According to the American Optometric Association, anyone with high myopia, or severe nearsightedness, is at greater risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma, and myopic macular degeneration. If you or your child have myopia and are between the ages of 8 and 25, it's especially important to make sure that the glasses being used are the correct prescription. This could help slow the progression of myopia. 

Light Therapy

Although most eye health recommendations focus on prevention of vision loss, a 2020 study published in The Journals of Gerontology found that people over age 40 experienced significant improvements to their vision with light therapy. Study participants were given daily brief exposure to red light of a specific wavelength. Rod and cone function were found to improve in study participants, resulting in increased color contrast sensitivity.

Exercise

According to Harvard Health, eye exercises may help delay the need for glasses or contacts. However, exercising eye muscles will not permanently eliminate the most common conditions that necessitate corrective lenses: Nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia (age-related farsightedness). 

How LASIK Can Improve Your Eyesight

If your blurred vision is disrupting your daily life, your eye doctor may recommend LASIK, a type of refractive surgery.

“LASIK...corrects by changing the shape of the front of the eye, or the cornea, so that the light rays hit directly onto the retina,” Yuna Rapoport, MD, director of Manhattan Eye in New York City, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

According to the American Refractive Surgery Council, LASIK is safe and effective for the correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The majority of patients are pleased with their LASIK results. The average patient satisfaction rate is around 98%.

It can take days or months for your vision to stabilize after LASIK, and LASIK may not help everyone. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with mild nearsightedness tend to have the most success with refractive surgery. People with a high degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness tend to have less predictable results.

Start Your Journey To Better Vision Today.

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