Nutrition and Your Eyes

by Jul 11, 2018

Optometrists are asked all the time whether vitamins or supplements can be used to improve vision.  It would certainly be nice if we could take a pill and no longer need glasses; unfortunately, that’s not the case. However, eye vitamins and supplements are useful in their own way and can do their part to maintain good eye health.  Let’s find out the answer to, “How important is nutrition and your eyes?”


nutrition and your eyes


Eye Supplements: Who Needs Them?

Certain ocular conditions may warrant the use of the vitamins and supplements.  For example, patients with age-related macular degeneration may benefit from using AREDS2, a multivitamin formula specifically designed to lower the risk of progression of macular degeneration.  However, while beneficial for patients who have macular degeneration, these multivitamins provide no advantage to patients without the disease, and are not effective in slowing the progression of other ocular conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts.

Healthy fats, especially Omega-3 fatty acids, are thought to benefit patients who suffer from dry eye, and have been shown in some instances to increase tear production.  However, these supplements are not recommended in certain systemic conditions or the use of specific medications, and more clinical trials are required to fully assess their benefit.

Certain vitamins, like Vitamin A and Vitamin C, have powerful antioxidant properties that can play an important role in the health of the eye.  Just like any other vitamin, your doctor will be able to provide accurate information on whether or not these supplements are right for you.


Not Another Fad Diet

A healthy diet is important for all parts of our health, and the eyes are no exception to that.  A diet high in whole grains, healthy fats, fresh fruit and colorful vegetables can play a role in maintaining the health of your eyes.  There are important pigments called lutein and zeaxanthin that are found abundantly in leafy greens and other colorful vegetables; these pigment molecules can help protect the macula.  Healthy fats can provide a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids to fight against dry eyes, and fresh fruit is a good source of vitamins A and C.

At Neal Eye Group, we put the health of your eyes first. Our doctors are happy to talk with you about your diet and your ocular health. If you have any further questions about nutrition and your eyes call us at (610) 828-9701. We serve Conshohocken, Plymouth Meeting, Lafayette Hill, and Whitemarsh. 

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