My eyesight is bad. I’ve had to wear glasses since the age of 6. I spend 99% of my waking hours wearing glasses, and I literally don’t notice them anymore.
I’m nearsighted, which means I have trouble seeing things that are far away. You can probably imagine how that’s an issue for driving a car, being in a class, watching a movie, or even just walking around.
For the last 17 years, I assumed there was no way to fix bad eyesight without laser eye surgery. But, that may not be true…
It doesn’t make any sense! Humans as a species have relatively sharp eyesight. The earliest humans were hunter-gatherers. Our ancestors relied on good eyesight to spot edible flora in the environment, to find and hunt down prey in vast open wilderness areas. Even just a few decades ago, poor eyesight wasn’t NEARLY as common as today.
Is this because of overly pampered, instant gratification, office cubicle-couch potato lifestyles? Short answer: kind of. Read on for the long answer.
The most common reason for poor eyesight is due to an eye that’s either too long, which causes nearsightedness, or too short, which causes farsightedness. Here are some helpful diagrams:
Corrective lenses (ie. glasses) helps the light that reaches your eyes refract correctly so that the light rays focus on the retina and help you see properly.
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is MUCH more common than farsightedness. A severe form called high myopia causes other serious vision disorders, like glaucoma (damage to the optic nerves), detached retinas, and cataracts (clouding of the eye), all of which lead to blindness.
There are other eyesight-boosting techniques that tell you to not wear glasses, most notably The Bates Method. There is very little scientific basis behind The Bates Method. The scientific community almost universally dismisses it. In fact, the entire method is based on a misconception: bad eyesight is the result of improperly trained eye muscles, instead of the scientifically proven reason (elongated/shortened eyes) that is shown in the diagrams above. The method produced a relatively small number of successfully-treated patients.
Now that we got that out of the way, here’s the reason why so many people seem to be nearsighted.
I shit you not. In almost every study conducted on both humans and animals, a lack of exposure to sunlight is the reason for deteriorating eyesight.
This makes sense. We’ve been becoming more and more of an indoor culture. Most people work indoors for their jobs in office cubicles. Most modern forms of entertainment like watching TV, playing video games and browsing the internet, are mostly done indoors. Kids in the past played outside, now they mostly stay indoors. Many schools have cut recess time.
This may be the single biggest difference between our ancestors and people decades ago, and us currently.
The solution is to go outside more. Do your studying and office-type work outdoors in parks. Have picnics and/or have lunch on a bench outside. Go jogging out in the sun. Play intramural sports. Just get outside!
But, why exactly is sunlight so important for better eyesight, you ask. Because of a neurotransmitter called dopamine.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter in your brain that’s responsible for feelings of motivation and enjoyment. It’s responsible for the enjoyment you feel from eating for example. In the prehistoric times, this enjoyment motivated the caveman to leave the safety of his dwelling to go out hunting for game.
Dopamine, and all of your other biological process in general, are handled by your body’s circadian rhythm. It handles the process that make you feel awake a few hours after waking up, a little groggy in the early afternoon, up and at it again in the late afternoon/early evening, and tired at night before going to bed. Your body’s circadian rhythm is highly influenced by sunlight, so consequently, your dopamine levels are highly influenced by sunlight.
This theory was tested and proven, on both animal and human test subjects.
The scientific community accepts this sunlight-dopamine theory as the reason for the poor eyesight epidemic. The theory holds water. I’ve written numerous articles on Nofap, the movement where men are abstaining from porn and masturbation as a means for improving themselves and bettering their lives. One of the consequences of compulsive porn and masturbation is low dopamine levels. One of the most common benefits that guys on Nofap experience is improved eyesight, and colors appearing more vivid.
The biggest consequence of our mainly indoor culture is that your circadian rhythm, including dopamine levels, are out of wack from the lack of sunlight.
So, if going outdoors more isn’t possible for you, then raise your dopamine levels as much as possible.
I highly recommend you watch this video, since the rest of this section’s going to be building off of it.
Quick preview, we need good tyrosine levels, good insulin response, and enough iron, folate, Vitamin B6, copper, and Vitamin C in our diet. The best foods for that are animal-based foods like beef and dairy, spinach, seafood, and cereal.
So first, we need a good, steady supply of tyrosine. Tyrosine is found naturally in dairy, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, oats, and wheat. It is also sold in supplement form ( Here’s a link for tyrosine supplements).
Tyrosine supplements are also recommended for people addicted to caffeine trying to quit. It helps get their dopamine levels back to normal.
Next, we need good insulin response to allow the tyrosine to cross the blood-brain barrier (ie. to get the tyrosine into our brains and convert it into dopamine).
Now, if you have a blood sugar regulating disorder like diabetes, your doctor most likely prescribes medication for you. Consult with your doctor if you can supplement with tyrosine. You most likely can, but you should still check to be sure.
For those of you without such a disorder, one way to improve your insulin response is to reduce carbohydrate and sugar intake, and eat more protein and fat. There’s actually something called the ketogenic diet, in which you greatly restrict carbohydrate intake, keep protein intake at average levels, and eat mostly fat. This diet makes your body use fat for most of its energy, instead of the glucose from carbohydrates. It has tremendous benefits for people who can do it safely, including improved insulin response.
It’s honestly enough to just reduce carbohydrate intake and/or eat carbohydrates at certain times of the day. For instance, I like to eat high protein, moderate fat, low carbohydrate all day until the evening, when I eat most of my carbs.
Another great insulin response improvement technique is to do intermittent fasting, where you purposefully restrict the times you eat. 16 hour fast and 8 hour eating window is the most commonly practiced form of intermittent fasting. So for example, you stop eating at 8 pm. You go to bed, wake up in the morning, and you skip breakfast. You eat at 12 pm, 16 hours after your fast started.
There’s many benefits from intermittent fasting, but for our purposes, we’re interested in the improved insulin response. And honestly, if you’ve ever skipped breakfast and you were fine until lunch, you’ll be able to do this. Frequency is up to you. Do it everyday, do it a few days a week, etc.
We also need to get enough iron and folate in our diets. Foods high in iron include red meat, pork, poultry (chicken and turkey, basically birds), seafood, beans, dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, and dried fruit like raisins and apricots. There are also iron-forified cereals, bread and pasta.
Foods high in folate include boiled spinach, beef, black-eyed peas, and breakfast cereals.
There’s overlap between the 2 food groups. Beef, spinach, and cereals contain high amounts of iron and folate. Most breakfast cereals in general actually contain a lot of vitamins and minerals.
We need Vitamin B6 to convert dopa to dopamine. Vitamin B6 is found naturally in a lot of the foods I’ve already listed, including breakfast cereals, pork, turkey and beef. Other foods include bananas, chickpeas, and potatoes.
These three substances are responsible for converting dopamine into norepinephrine. We’re already getting plenty of copper and iron from the meat and animal-based foods I listed in the previous sub-sections. Seafood in particular, like oysters and other shell fish, are good sources of copper.
The easiest way to get Vitamin C is through oranges or to drink juice. Many fruit juices, like orange juice and cranberry juice, are rich in Vitamin C.
This substance is naturally created by your body from Methylation. Animal-based foods and seafood, particularly tuna and mackerel, contain high levels of Methylation.
Higher dopamine levels will improve your vision. Science and plenty of anecdotal evidence reveal this. The best way to raise dopamine is:
And that is how to improve eyesight naturally without eye surgery. These methods are scientifically proven and backed by anecdotal evidence from hundreds of thousands of people.
The key lifestyle habit that is causing an epidemic of nearsightedness is our indoor culture. Going out into the sun more is the solution to treating poor eyesight. Building on that, the neurotransmitter dopamine highly influences the quality of your eyesight. We went over step-by-step how to raise dopamine levels naturally, following the advice from a trained, licensed endocrinologist.
Part 2 will conclude the Improve Eyesight Naturally series. It will have 2 more ways of improving eyesight naturally. Keep a look out for that.
See you later,