A number of readers have asked me what I've done to improve my vision naturally, so I decided to put the information together here. I'll talk about foods, supplements, eye exercises, and other techniques that may improve eye health.
My Vision Problem Story
In April 2021, I went into the eye doctor because my eyes were bothering me. I am extremely nearsighted, having worn glasses or contact lenses since first grade (over 40 years).
At that time, I was seeing excessive floaters and lightening, and having trouble focusing. When I went in for my exam, the doctor said I had cataracts. She suggested cataract surgery, and bifocal lens implants.
Since I'm only 51, I was reluctant to jump into surgery. She gave me a stronger prescription to cut through the haze, and we decided to check my eyes in a few months to see how the cataracts were progressing.
I didn't have cataracts at my previous exam two years prior. With nearsightness like mine, once cataracts show up, they usually progress quickly. She sent me home with warnings to never go outside without sunglasses, to limit my computer time, and to take eye supplements.
I was a little freaked out, but my readers assured me that cataract surgery was easy. Still, something didn't sit right.
I know our bodies are made to heal. I eliminated my psoriasis after the dermatologist told me to “live with it”. There had to be a way of improving eyesight without surgery or corrective lenses.
What I did to Improve My Vision Naturally
First up, I want to make it clear that there is not “one cool trick” that makes everything better. Like most health issues, vision problems show up and get worse over time, so vision improvements also take time.
I am not a medical professional, and this is not meant to replace medical advice. These are things that I, and many others, have done to naturally improve vision and reduce eye strain. My prescription dropped half a diopter, and my cataracts and floaters have improved.
I am using eye exercises and relaxation techniques from the books listed below, and reducing my computer time. (Which is not easy given that I work online.) No screen time after nine pm, sometimes none after 8pm. I go without my glasses when it is safe to do so.
See “Efficacy of N-acetyl carnosine in the treatment of cataracts” for related study.
I've added more eye friendly foods to my diet, like sardines and blueberries, and eye supplements listed below.
The cataract in my left eye is worse than my right eye, and some studies link cataracts with EMF exposure. I usually hold the phone on my left side. We eliminated our cordless phones in the house and went back to corded, and I got an EMF reducing cover for my cellphone.
I put up an eye chart on the wall of our house that has the longest line of site, and look at it once in a while throughout the day. I also make more time to look at the windows, as far as I can see. Focusing on a distant objects helps to naturally extend your vision.
Books about Improving Vision
I remembered a book I picked up years ago called, “The Bates Method for Better Eyesight Without Glasses” by Dr. William H Bates. I read through it, and it gave me hope that I could improve my vision naturally, but the instructions weren't that helpful.
Then I purchased two books that gave more detailed information. The first was “Give Up Your Glasses For Good: Holistic Eye Care for the 21st Century“.
“Give Up Your Glasses for Good” provides background information on different types of eye conditions, such as refractive error and age related macular degeneration, floaters and cataracts. It then dives into an assortment of mental and physical exercises to relax the eyes and bring back clear focus.
The second book I used is called, “Improve Your Eyesight with EFT“. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. It helps you work through emotional baggage – and we all have emotional baggage. Some of the exercises were a better fit than others, so use what fits for you.
Food and Supplements for Better Vision
Eyes need vitamins and minerals to heal, just like the rest of your body. Vitamins A, C, and E, and the mineral zinc are known eye helpers. Spirulina is high in antioxidants and proteins that nourish the eyes. I like to mix a tablespoon of spirulina with chilled coconut water.
Foods commonly recommended for eye health includes those high in antioxidants, like colorful fruits and vegetables. Dark leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries, beets – bright colors are “eye friendly”.
Omega 3 fatty acids are also critical for eye health, so add some oily fish like sardines or mackerel to your diet. Grassfed meat, dairy, and eggs may also have significant levels of omega 3. I like bone in sardines or oysters packed in olive oil for lunch, and we eat grassfed beef and our chickens are on pasture.
To get enough omega 3 fatty acids, you may need a supplement. Omega 3s can help with dry eyes, too.
Junk food isn't any better for your eyes than for anything else. One of our readers shared that her vision improved after she gave up sugar.
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin boost macular health, and absorb ultraviolet and blue light. Lutein improves or prevents age-related macular disease. I'm taking a lutein and zeaxanthin supplement from my eye doc.
Eye Exercises to Improve Vision Naturally
It may come as a surprise that the best exercise to improve your eyesight is relaxing your eyes. One of the quotes that stuck with me from “Give up your Glasses for Good” was “Embrace the blur”.
I've had glasses for so long that the idea of going without them was something I would never consider – until I started working on improving my vision. Now I make time each day to go without my glasses – walking around the yard, folding laundry, doing dishes.
Another simple relaxation technique is called “cupping”. For cupping, you simply place the palms of your hands over your eyes and relax. Hold your hands in place for 30 seconds to a minute (or more).
Blinking is also important. When we look at screens, we blink less. Reminding yourself to blink regularly helps keep eyes lubed and relaxed.
Large yawns help to increase tear production, so go ahead and yawn and stretch more regularly.
There are many different exercises in the book – too many to list here. You can pick one or two, or an assortment, depending on how quickly you want to improve your vision.
The 20-20-20 Rule
The 20-20-20 rule suggests that you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of close up work. While it's an okay place to start, I find that I need more than 20 seconds to truly relax my eyes.
Protect Your Eyes
Always wear protective eyewear when appropriate. Consider blue light blocking glasses for screen time in the evening and at night. I do wear sunglasses while driving, but don't wear them all the time outside, because we need some natural light to function correctly.
There are plenty of “experts” that say you can't improve vision naturally, but I'm living proof that it can be done.
I don't know if I will ever get out of glasses, but at least now my eyes are getting better instead of worse. If I spent more time working on my vision, I think progress would be faster, but even with modest changes there's improvement.
Hopefully this will encourage others to do their own research and start working towards healthier eyes.
There is a diagnostic system called German New Medicine (GNM) that links biological conflicts with disease manifestations. Basically, your mind sees a situation in a certain way, and triggers a reaction in your body.
What we typically view as illness is usually part of the body trying to fix things. If we can identify and work through the triggers, it should help speed up healing. This is some information on GNM for eyes.
There's more that I haven't mentioned here, like herbs, and the connection between liver health/detoxification and eyesight, but if you're interested, let me know, I'll keep pulling information together.
Update: Integrated Vision Therapy
In March 2023, I read “The Power Behind Your Eyes: Improving Your Eyesight with Integrated Vision Therapy“. This book includes some simple exercises, but focus on the emotional and spiritual connection to eyesight.
For me, my vision started deteriorating when there were bad things happening in my life that I did not want to see. I suspect this is the case for many people. Barring injury, our eyes do their best to present the world in a way our minds can deal with it.
As I read, I could feel my perception shifting. It felt like spring thaw in my brain. I still have work to do, but I feel this is another important piece of the puzzle.
Update: Castor Oil Eye Drops
In March 2023, a reader (Barbara D.) reached out to let me know about using castor oil eye drops. I started using them at bedtime, and they significantly decreased my dry eye symptoms. I use this organic castor oil with a dropper. I think they've improved my floaters, too.
It's best to use the castor oil at bedtime, as it does coat the eye so vision is a bit blurry. You can rub the excess oil into the skin around the eyes to soften it.
This article was written by Laurie Neverman, engineer by training, health researcher by calling. Disappointed by mainstream advice to “just live with it”, she's devoted her time to learning more about helping the body to heal. You can read more about how she cleared her skin of psoriasis in her book, “Psoriasis Healing“.
Last updated in 2023.