Health

3 Natural Remedies to Improve Eye Health

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Things seem blurry lately? Ophthalmologists say spring’s shifts in humidity, light, and weather can impact sight. Luckily, these tricks boost eye health fast!

Shine a red light to brighten eyesight.

Enjoy your evening tea next to a red bulb and you’ll see 20 percent better in dim light, suggests a new British study. Researchers found that being exposed to red light for three minutes a day for two weeks reversed eye aging in folks over 40, leading to better color perception and sharper contrast in low light. “Red light recharges powerhouses in cells, restoring eyes’ ability to perform well,” notes William T. Reynolds, OD, president of the American Optometric Association.

One to try: Wolezek 36W 18 LED Infrared Red Light Therapy Lamp (Buy on Amazon, $45.99).

Drink more water to see further.

Ever notice that some days it’s harder than others to see people, buildings, or trees in the distance? Spring’s warmer weather can leave 75 percent of us mildly dehydrated, causing us to produce fewer hydrating tears while affecting eye health. “The primary focusing element of the eye — the cornea — is made up of mostly water, which is why dehydration can lead to visual distortion,” by temporarily warping the cornea, says James M. Stringham, PhD, research scientist at Duke Eye Center.

The easy fix: “Drinking even a small glass of water helps maintain good focus,” says Dr. Stringham. He recommends sipping 8 ounces of H2O the next time your vision is a little blurry.

Stock up on chocolate to ditch your glasses.

Before curling up with your next page-turner, unwrap a chocolate bar. A study in JAMA Ophthalmology found that eating dark chocolate (72 percent cocoa or higher) increased visual contrast and sharpness. Indeed, researchers say folks who tried this simple (and tasty!) trick boosted their near vision almost instantly, and the results lasted two hours.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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