6 Eye-healthy Vitamins That Promote Optimal Vision
Adequate intake of essential vitamins is necessary for optimal eye health. A deficiency in specific vitamins can increase the risk of developing ocular conditions such as dry eyes, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and even blindness.
Age-related Macular Degeneration: What You Need To Know
According to the American Optometric Association, age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. Macular degeneration is a condition that affects the central part of your retina, which is responsible for your vision in sharp detail. Research shows that certain vitamins and minerals may help reduce the risk of developing AMD. While not a guarantee of prevention, studies have found that vitamins A, C, E, zinc and copper may be beneficial for preserving eye health and reducing the risk of AMD.
Additionally, eating a balanced diet that includes foods rich in these vitamins may help to ensure optimal eye health.
Here are 5 eye-healthy vitamins that promote optimal vision:
1) Vitamin A: Vitamin A is essential for proper eye function, maintains the elasticity of the delicate macula and can help prevent night blindness. Get your vitamin A from animal-based sources, such as milk and meat, or supplements.
2) Vitamin C: This vitamin is essential for the production of collagen, a connective tissue in the eyes that supports vision. If you don't get enough vitamin C, you can develop eye problems, such as dry eyes and cataracts. Get your vitamin C from fruits (oranges, strawberries) and vegetables, or supplements.
3) Vitamin E: This vitamin is essential for maintaining eye health and can protect against age-related vision problems. It is also important for the production of cell membranes in the eyes. Get your vitamin E from plant-based sources, such as nuts and seeds, or supplements.
4) Lutein and Zeaxanthin: These two nutrients are highly concentrated in the retina and help to prevent age-related macular degeneration as well as other vision problems. They are also important for the eye's ability to see in low light. Get your lutein and zeaxanthin from leafy green vegetables and fruits, or supplements.
5) Omega-3 fatty acids: Essential fatty acids are vital for maintaining optimal eye health. These acids form a protective lipid membrane that covers the delicate cells of the eyes, shielding them from damage and promoting clarity of vision. Get your omega-3 fatty acids from seafood, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.
Alternatively, Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS) supplements are a form of treatment that has been shown to slow down vision loss in people who have already been diagnosed with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). These dietary supplements are designed to contain high levels of antioxidants, zinc, and vitamin A, which can help reduce the risk of vision loss associated with AMD. Research has shown that taking these supplements can slow the progression of AMD by up to 25%. Although AREDS supplements can be an effective treatment for AMD, it is important for patients to speak to their optometrist about their specific situation.
By including essential vitamins in your diet, you can help protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration and other ocular conditions. Start taking care of your eyes today - it's never too late!
Layana AG, Minnella AM, Garhöfer G, Aslam T, Holz FG, Leys A, Silva R, Delcourt C, Souied E, Seddon JM. Vitamin D and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Nutrients. 2017 Oct 13;9(10):1120. doi: 10.3390/nu9101120. PMID: 29027953; PMCID: PMC5691736.