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The Best Foods for Your Eyes

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The Best Foods for Your Eyes

We all know that eating nutrient-rich foods, drinking plenty of water, and exercising can boost our health. So it’s no surprise that these same activities also support eye health. Research has shown that regularly consuming certain vitamins and nutrients can actually prevent or delay sight-threatening eye conditions and diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. 

Here’s a list of the best vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can help keep your eyes healthy for a lifetime. 

We invite you to consult with our eye doctor, Dr. Christopher Chiodo, OD, to discuss which nutrients are most suited to your specific eye health and needs. 

Vitamins and Nutrients That Support Eye Health

*Always best to speak with your primary care doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements, and to ensure you consume the correct dosage for your body.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency can cause a host of eye health issues, including dry eyes and night blindness. In fact, vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Vitamins A and A1, which are essential for supporting the eye’s photoreceptors (the light-sensing cells) in the retina, can be found in foods like carrots, leafy greens, egg yolks, liver, and fish. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Eating Omega-3 rich foods like fatty fish can support eye health in a few ways. DHA and EPA, 2 different types of Omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to improve retinal function and visual development.  

Omega-3 supplements can also ease dry eye symptoms. A randomized controlled study found that people who consumed Omega-3 supplements experienced improved tear quality, which resulted in reduced tear evaporation and increased eye comfort.  

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that accumulate in the lens and retina and help filter out damaging UV rays and blue light. One study showed that individuals who had the highest levels of these nutrients in their diets had a 43% lower chance of developing macular degeneration than those who had consumed the least amount.  

Spinach, egg yolks, sweet corn, and red grapes are some of the foods that contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin. 

Vitamin C 

High amounts of vitamin C can be found in the aqueous humor of the eye, the liquid that fills the eye’s anterior chamber and supports corneal integrity. This has prompted scientists to consider this vitamin’s role in protecting eye health. 

Research suggests that regularly taking vitamin C (along with other essential vitamins and minerals) can lower the risk of developing cataracts, and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss.

While vitamin C appears to support eye health in a variety of ways, it’s still unclear whether taking this supplement benefits those who aren’t deficient. Vitamin C can be found in various fruits and vegetables, like bell peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, broccoli, and kale. 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect fatty acids from becoming oxidized. Because the retina has a high concentration of fatty acids, sufficient vitamin E intake is crucial for optimal ocular health. 

Vitamin E can be found in almonds, flaxseed oil, and sunflower seeds. 

Zinc

Healthy eyes naturally contain high levels of zinc. A zinc deficiency can cause night blindness, and thus increasing zinc intake can improve night vision. Zinc also helps absorb Vitamin A, an essential antioxidant. 

Make sure to avoid taking high doses of zinc (beyond 100 mg daily) without first consulting your eye doctor. Higher doses of zinc have been associated with side effects such as reduced immune function. You can increase your zinc intake naturally by consuming more oysters, meat, and peanuts. 

Phytochemical Antioxidants

Phytochemical antioxidants are chemicals produced by plants that contain several health benefits. Some studies show that these plant-based chemicals may enhance vision and eye health as well as prevent age-related eye diseases and complications by alleviating ocular oxidative stress. Oxidative stress within the eyes contributes to several eye conditions, including  dry eye syndrome. Consuming more produce with these antioxidants can help balance the anti-oxidant and pro-oxidant system, resulting in healthier eyes. 

Personalized Eye Nutrition 

If you or someone you know is looking for ways to boost or maintain eye health, speak with an optometrist near you about what supplements and vitamins are best for you. For an eye doctor in Las Vegas, give us a call at 702-254-6222.

 

Tips For Dry Eyes

Many people experience the common ailment known as ‘dry eye’, but the annoyance factor related to the condition definitely makes it feel not so common. The condition occurs when a person’s eyes do not produce the correct amount of tears to keep their eyes moist, comfortable and healthy.

There are several factors that could lead to dry eye including hormonal changes, not enough blinking and other bodily imbalances. Luckily, there are several ways that an individual can reduce the occurrence of the issue. Not all of these methods will work equally as well for everyone, but they are all great ways to solve the problem.

  • Avoid Swiftly Moving Air
    Air movement is a common way that a person’s eyes can quickly dry out. This factor can be caused by wind, hair dryers and even fans. Driving down the road with the windows rolled down is also a very common cause. Avoiding these situations or at least wearing some form of eye protection can prevent eyes from drying.
  • Reduce Sugar Intake
    Dry eyes have been commonly linked to consuming little more than three tablespoons of sugar, and most sodas actually contain this amount of sugar within them. A person can greatly reduce the occurrence of dry eyes by simply reducing their daily sugar intake.
  • Invest in Artificial Tears
    Artificial tears were actually created for this very problem. They can be purchased without a prescription and will replace the tears that the body isn’t naturally producing.
  • Make Sure to Blink
    Not blinking is a common cause of dry eyes. Most people believe this is a bodily reaction that will simply occur when it’s supposed to, but science has proven that people actually blink less while at the computer screen. This makes it pertinent to make a conscious effort to blink while working at the computer.

Dry eyes can be an irritating condition, but there are luckily several ways that a person can improve the condition. By just following the aforementioned tips, a person will likely correct their problem without ever having to get a prescription.