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Recently, there seems to be a lot more emphasis on more natural healing of injuries and illnesses. But for years now we have relied on our opticians to give us the best advice and prescriptions for our eyesight, and often they have given us glasses to improve our shortsightedness or myopia. There has been more debate recently about whether this is a help or a hindrance to our eyesight, with many experts saying that over time using glasses can be detrimental to our eyesight, and long term use can lead us to needing stronger and stronger prescriptions. Some are saying that our eyesight can be improved and maintained without the need for glasses, and that exercises and potentially diet may be enough maintain good eyesight.

What Is Short-Sightedness?

Short-sightedness (or Myopia) is when you can see objects near to you clearly, but objects further away are blurry, and this is occurs when the shape of your eye causes light rays to bend, or refract incorrectly and focusing images in front of your retina instead of on your retina. Symptoms of myopia are blurry vision when looking at distant objects, headaches due to eye strain and the need to squint to see more clearly. The first port of call is to book yourself an eye test at the opticians and this is where they will tell you how severe your shortsightedness is, then usually prescribe you to wear glasses. If you wear glasses and have done for a while, you might notice that each time when you go to the opticians your prescription gets stronger, meaning that your eyesight is getting worse. This may lead you to question: are glasses bad for the long term future of your eyesight? Or are there ways to help prevent my eyesight getting worse?

Can Eye Exercises Improve Eyesight?

For years now the debate that certain eye exercises can help improve or prevent eyesight has remained controversial. There have been studies to suggest that certain exercise routines can improve declining eyesight in the short term, but little has been done to investigate whether there are any long-term benefits. These exercises could be focusing on something in the distance for a certain amount of time, or just using the full range of motion in your eyes to work the muscles in the eye. In terms of improving eyesight naturally, experts do suggest more time spent outside, as more exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays may change the molecular structure of the cornea and help maintain a normal shape.

The main issue with the argument of the use of eye exercises is because of the anecdotal evidence, either the sample size is too small or the outcome measures aren’t strong enough to draw the type of conclusions that give the research strength. For the claims about eye exercises being able to improve or maintain eyesight to be considered more valid there needs to be longer, large scale studies, so for now experts will not consider this approach.

How Can You Slow The Progression Of Eyesight Loss?

Researchers and experts who are more respected say that at this time shortsightedness can’t be improved, but it might be possible to slow the progression of it getting worse, and there are a few lifestyle changes that could prevent your eyesight getting worse. These include eating a healthier diet with lots of vitamin A and C which promote good eye health, avoid smoking as the toxic chemicals can be damaging, protect your eye from sunlight with sunglasses with proper UV protection.

There is an obvious advantage for the use of glasses – they help us see better straight away – and this is necessary particularly when we need to be alert of things around us, like driving, for example. In these incidences glasses to improve vision become a necessity. At this time there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that eye exercises improve or maintain good eyesight in the long term. There is also no real evidence to suggest that glasses can make your eyesight worse. As mentioned before, people start to notice that over the years they start to need a stronger prescription and they feel their vision is getting worse. This seems linked to the use of glasses because your eye muscles no longer need to work as hard. However, experts suggest that your vision is worsening anyway as you age, so wearing glasses is just a tool to give us better vision, if we don’t wear glasses, our prescription would be stronger each time we had our eyes tested anyway.

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence and cases studies of people “improving their eyesight” or curing their myopia. But in reality when it comes to eye health, the research is saying that when you have been given a prescription after an eye test, it’s best to use the glasses as recommended to avoid over straining your eyes. At present, the best approach along with following the advice of the optician would be to eat healthy with lots of vitamin A and C in your diet, get plenty of sunlight but use sunglasses with UV protection, and avoid toxins – for example, smoking.

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