The right nutritional balance helps us stay healthy, but how often do we think about which vitamins and minerals support eye health?
Here, we provide a run-down on the nutrients that have been shown to promote eye health. This information does not replace professional advice, so always check with your eye doctor or family physician before taking supplements, and remember that supplements alone cannot replace a well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
The Power of Carotenoids
In The National Eye Institute’s 2013 study on Age-Related Eye Diseases (AREDS2), participants in the early stages of macular degeneration supplemented their carotenoid intake with 2mg of zeaxanthin and 10 mg of lutein. This resulted in a 10-25% reduction in the progression of this sight-threatening eye disease.
The power of carotenoids, which give vegetables their bright color, may lie in their protective capabilities, since they shield plants from the harsh rays of the sun. The macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision, usually has concentrations of zeaxanthin and lutein, which is the reason the macula is yellow.
Additionally, carotenoids are antioxidants, which have been shown to lower the risk of women developing cataracts. In a study involving 30,000 Swedish women over the age of 49 by the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institute, those with the highest intake of antioxidants had a 13% lower risk of developing cataracts compared to those who consumed the least amount of antioxidants.
Antioxidants can prevent or slow the damage caused by free radicals, a kind of waste product that cells produce.
Other Nutrients that Promote Eye Health
The following nutrients have been shown to have a positive effect on vision and eye functioning:
- Vitamin A or Beta Carotene
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B-Complex
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Don’t Forget Regular Checkups
Be sure to have regular checkups with an optometrist, who will thoroughly assess your vision and determine whether you would benefit from taking a supplement to promote eye health.
If you live in Nevada and need an eye appointment, contact Dr. David Yesnick at Yesnick Vision Center, serving clients in Las Vegas. We are here for all of your eye care needs.
At Yesnick Vision Center, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 702-500-0525 or book an appointment online to see one of our Las Vegas eye doctors.
Want to Learn More? Read on!
What are some causes of macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is commonly associated with aging, but other factors, such as genetics, exposure to the sun’s UV rays, gender and lifestyle can play a part. Obesity and smoking can contribute to the development and progression of the disease.
Are there treatments for macular degeneration?
There is no cure for this eye disease, but certain treatments can slow its progression. The available treatments for macular degeneration depend on the type of MD. A diet rich in antioxidants can lower the risk of dry MD from developing into the more severe type, known as wet MD.
Treatments for wet MD involve injections of medications into the eye, and laser treatments to stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels and prevent fluid leakage into the eye. If macular degeneration has permanently impacted a person’s vision, specific low vision aids are available, such as magnifiers, computer-based devices and special apps for digital devices. These low