1. Eat fish twice a week
Fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk of dry-eye syndrome. If you can’t stand fish, try fish-oil supplements.
2. Always wear goggles
Make sure to wear goggles when swimming or doing carpentry. A properly fitting pair of swimming goggles will protect your eyes from chlorine; carpentry goggles will prevent debris from causing corneal abrasions.
3. Avoid dry air
Aim your car vents down at your feet, not your eyes. Dry, air-conditioned air sucks the moisture out of eyes like a sponge, so aim the vents in your car away from your face. Serious dryness can lead to corneal abrasions and even blindness.
4. Choose red onions
Cook with red onions. Compared with other kinds, they contain more quercetin, an antioxidant that is thought to protect against cataracts.
5. Use protection
Put on sunglasses whenever you leave the house. Not only will they block out the harsh glare of the sun, but they’ll also protect your eyes from the drying effects of wind.
6. Go for orange
Have sweet potatoes for dinner tonight. Rich in vitamin A, these spuds may be especially good at improving your night vision.
7. Keep it clean
Remove eye makeup every night. This prevents small pieces of make-up from winding up in your eye and possibly scratching your cornea.
Ask your doctor about taking a bilberry supplement. The berries contain compounds called anthocyanosides, which can help protect the retina against macular degeneration. Bilberry supplements are sold at most pharmacies.
9. Don’t share a towel
Use a fresh towel every time you wipe your face. Sharing face towels and washers with others is a guaranteed way to get the highly contagious eye infection called conjunctivitis (pinkeye).
10. Block the sun
Wear a large hat or cap along with your sunglasses. A wide-brimmed hat will block roughly 50 percent of UV radiation and reduce the UV rays that may enter your eyes from above or around the sunglasses
11. Have spinach twice a week
It could be steamed, sautéed in some olive oil with garlic or perhaps tucked into a quiche. It doesn’t matter how you get it, just be sure to have it regularly. Studies have shown that lutein, a nutrient abundant in spinach, may prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
12. Take a break
When you’re working or reading, set your alarm to beep every 30 minutes. Use this as a reminder to look up and away to some distant point for 30 seconds. This helps prevent eye fatigue and eyestrain.
13. Watch your pressure
Check your blood pressure every month. You can do this at home with a do-it-yourself monitor cuff. High blood pressure, if unchecked, can damage vessels in the eye.
14. Keep your cool
Turn down the heat in your house. Heat dries out the air which, in turn, dries out your eyes. You might also try adding some humidity with a humidifier or even bunching a lot of plants together in the room where you spend the most time.
15. Stimulate your brain
Dab an essential oil of jasmine, peppermint, or vanilla on your arm and sniff. Scent researcher Alan Hirsch of the Chicago-based Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation says jasmine increases the beta waves in the frontal lobes of your brain, promoting wakefulness and enabling you to focus better and see things more acutely. All three scents stimulate the limbic system in your brain, which in turn stimulates the rods in your eyes that help you to see in dim light.
16. Keep it moving
Walk at least four times a week. Some evidence suggests that regular exercise can reduce the intraocular pressure, or IOP, in people with glaucoma. In one study, glaucoma patients who walked briskly four times per week for 40 minutes lowered their IOP enough so they could stop taking medication for their condition. It’s also possible—although there’s no proof yet—that walking could also reduce your overall risk of developing glaucoma.
17. Use herbs or spices instead of salt
Studies have found that high-salt diets increase your risk of certain types of cataracts, so stay away from the salty stuff. And while you’re de-salting your diet, don’t forget the salt in processed foods. Check labels for “no salt”, “no sodium”, “low salt” or “low sodium” tags when buying canned and other prepared foods.
Heal yourself with food
Get more ideas on healing yourself with food—from spinach for cataracts to carrots for fatigue—in the book Food Cures (Reader’s Digest).