“Your eyes are like windows to your soul. They shine and bedazzle as the stars do in the sky! They are like diamonds that mesmerize the person looking at them. When I look into your eyes, I keep on looking at them. I can't ever stop looking at them. Your eyes speak volumes to me in unsaid words...”
― Avijeet Das
If your eyes are a window to your soul, Almeda could be your beauty soulmate. When your body and cells are replenished and thriving, your eyes appear more sparkling and bright.
You may have noticed that on days when you get all that you need -- a balanced blend of sleep, activity, rest, and nourishment -- you can see a difference in the mirror and photos. Following are some ways you can take control of your eye health and clarify your eyes.
COMMON EYE CONCERNS
Redness. Red eyes can be caused by many things. The typical culprits are allergies, fatigue, infections, or wearing contact lenses too long.
Puffy eyes. Puffy eyes could be a sign of chronic inflammation -- an outer symptom of your inner health.
Dark circles, bags or hollows under the eyes. Tiredness can contribute to darkening circles under the eyes, as does advancing age. However, taking good care of your health can help stave off premature signs of aging.
CONTRIBUTING LIFESTYLE FACTORS
Eye strain. Looking at screens all day and night can wear you out energetically, and take a toll on your eyes. Reading extensively, especially in dim lighting, can put a strain on your eyes.
Lack of sleep. Your eyes will certainly show it if you’re suffering from insomnia or milder forms of restless nights.
Fatigue / exhaustion. Along with not getting enough sleep, if you find you are more generally exhausted or fatigued this can be seen clearly in your eyes and your face more generally.
Stress. Chronic stress on your body can show up in many ways, including your eyes.
Dehydration. Lack of proper hydration contributes to dry eyes, which can lead to eye pain, vision distortion, red eyes, and more.
Travel. We don’t call overnight flights “red-eyes” for just any reason! Any travel that interferes with your sleep schedules and ability to fully relax and recover can have an adverse effect on your eyes.
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE
You can try a combination of the following suggestions to help alleviate the redness in your eyes.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and eat a variety of whole fresh foods.
Ensure your nutrition is balanced. For eye health in particular, you want to make sure you’re getting the right amounts of Vitamins A, E, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, and B12, plus omega-3 fatty acids and carotenoids (Lutein and Zeaxanthin).
Supplement as needed. For those times when you aren’t able to get a diet rich in vitamins that support your eye health.
Reduce chronic inflammation. Watch your stress levels, especially ongoing conflicts or strains. Eating healthy, wholesome foods and avoiding caffeine and added sugars can help reduce inflammation. You can also seek help from your medical professional and wellness teams to
Try applying cold or warm compresses. Soak a cloth in hot water or ice water, then twist off excess water and apply to your eyes.
Stay away from common irritants. Avoid smoke, pet dander, dust, chlorine, and pollen.
Check your contact lenses. If your eyes are red because of your contacts, you may need to change them or see your ophthalmologist for a new prescription.
WHAT CERTAIN VITAMINS CAN DO FOR YOUR EYES
Oxidative stress -- an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in the body -- may be associated with many eye conditions.
Vitamin A helps you maintain a clear cornea (the eye covering).
Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, helps protect your cells — including eye cells — from damaging free radicals (harmful and unstable molecules).
Vitamin C is another potent antioxidant that could help protect your eyes against damaging free radicals.
Vitamins B6, B9 and B12, when combined, could lower your homocysteine (amino acid) levels to help prevent macular degeneration (or AMD).
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) potentially could reduce oxidative stress. It is being studied for effects on cataracts.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) may help protect the optic nerve from glaucoma. (However, too much niacin may lead to blurred vision, macular damage and inflammation of the cornea.)
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in the macula and retina, and they help filter out potentially harmful blue light.
FOODS TO EAT FOR EYE HEALTH
Following is a list -- beyond the ubiquitous and widely known carrot -- of foods that are high in those specific vitamins listed above, that are understood to benefit eye health.
Vitamin A: carrots, sweet potatoes, leafy green vegetables, pumpkins, bell peppers, squash.
Vitamin E: nuts, seeds, cooking oils, salmon, avocado, asparagus, leafy green vegetables.
Vitamin C: citrus fruits, tropical fruits, blackberries, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale.
Vitamins B6, B9 and B12: chickpeas, clams, sardines, and certain other fish and meats, nutritional yeast.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): oats, milk, yogurt, mushrooms.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin): fish, mushrooms, peanuts, rice, legumes.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: cooked spinach, kale and collard greens.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, soy and nuts, olive oil.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): beans, lentils, whole grains, meat and fish.
If you’re not getting the recommended amount of these vitamins daily from the foods you eat, or you find you aren’t able to get them at certain times, you may want to supplement your diet to support your eye health.
THE OCULAR SYSTEM
The eye and the visual system (cornea, lens, and fluids) make up your ocular cell system and turn light into visual signals for the brain. Normal functioning of this system requires a variety of health cells, including epithelial cells, keratocytes, fibroblasts, and the trabecular meshwork.
So as you can see, cell health is critically important to your eyes.
A FINAL NOTE ABOUT EYE HEALTH
Unfortunately, sometimes red eyes signal a more serious eye condition or disease, such as uveitis or glaucoma, so it’s important to have your eyes checked out by a medical professional if your symptoms are severe or long-lasting. Any extensive blurring, styles, swelling of the eyelids, debris in the eye, damage or scratches to the surface of the eye, or unusual flashes, may be reasons to seek professional help.
We care about you and your total body health. So do what you can to love and protect your eyes, then shine those gorgeous peepers!