Vision changes can occur gradually or suddenly. The latest evidence shows increased short-sightedness from 20 to 40 percent of the population in the last 25 years. This rate of increase, suggests that it is mostly due to lifestyle factors. We all know that nowadays – more than ever, we are using our eyes to stare at televisions, computer screens, and small images and type on tablets and cell phones. This leads to eye problems and eye fatigue. But fortunately, this doesn’t mean that diminished eyesight have to be an inevitable part of your life. With the right eye vitamins and diet, you can sharpen your vision.
How can eye vitamins keep your eyesight sharp?
Many eye vitamins absorb UV light that is harmful to our eyes and effectively manage hormonal responses and blood sugar levels. They also lower inflammation and the amount of blue light that is emitted from technological devices such as your laptop, phone or tablet.
Moreover, eye vitamins help prevent disorders and help preserve healthy cells.
Warning Signs Of Vision Problems In Kids
According to Prevent Blindness America, one in four children in school-age have problems with vision. If these problems are left untreated they can affect personality, adjustment in school, and learning ability.
The most common cause of vision problems between school-age children are refractive errors.
These are 10 signs that your child has vision problems:
- Holding a book too close
- Consistently sitting too close to the TV
- Using a finger to guide his eyes when reading or losing his place while reading
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Tilting or squinting the head to see better
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing
- Complaining of tired eyes or headaches
- Avoiding working with computer, because it “hurts his eyes”
- Closing one eye to watch TV, read, or see better
- Avoiding activities which require distance vision such as recreational activities and sports, or near vision, such as homework or reading.
- Receiving lower grades than usual
How Eye Vitamins Work For Eye Health
- Help prevent macular degeneration
- Stop oxidative stress – free radical damage
- Strengthen tissues in the eyes
- Reduce eye fatigue, glaucoma, light and glare sensitivity
- Lower the risk for cataracts
Eye Vitamins Help Prevent Macular Degeneration
Antioxidants like zeathanin and lutein protect healthy cells in the eyes. The most common cause of blindness among older adults is age-related macular degeneration. The good news is that certain vitamins can help beat back this condition. (1)
So, age-related macular degeneration or cataracts appears mostly due to our “modern” way of living -diets low in nutrients but high in inflammatory foods.
Daily intake of 40-80 mg of zinc along with antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene slows the progression of visual acuity loss by 19% and advanced macular degeneration by 25% in people with high risk of these diseases.
Actually, eye vitamins and antioxidants prevent retina and other delicate eye parts from the damaging short-wavelength UV light.
Eye Vitamins Stop Oxidative Stress – Free Radical Damage
Certain antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamin C and lutein, help fight free radical damage in the eyes caused over time by sun/UV light exposure, blue light emissions from computer screens and poor diet.
These vitamins help us to slow down oxidative damage in general.
Vision loss and disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration are caused by the process of oxidative stress, which is why people with unhealthy lifestyles are most likely to suffer from vision loss and eye problems. This can also damage the blood vessels, cause problems with blood reaching the eyes, lead to diseases that hinder normal vision like heart disease and diabetes and complicate eye surgeries. (2)
Eye Vitamins Strengthen Tissues in the Eyes
Studies show antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for people whose immune systems have been weakened due to chronic stress, poor diets, and illnesses.
They’re also important for the development of the eyes in children and infants.
Besides that these eye vitamins help protect vision, they are also beneficial for tissues throughout the body (cartilage, joints, ligaments, etc.) because they lower inflammation.
Eye Vitamins Reduce Eye Fatigue, Glaucoma, Light and Glare Sensitivity
Eye vitamins help keep your vision accurate by strengthening the macula, lens, retina, and cornea. They are extremely important for precise vision because they prevent cataracts.
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, a diet high in vitamins A, C, E, and zinc can also fight glaucoma, described as vision loss or tunnel vision that is caused by damage to the optic nerves in the eyes. (3)
Eye Vitamins Lower the Risk for Cataracts
To keep the lens within the eye protected from damage and clear it is very important to consume antioxidants.
Studies show that higher dietary intakes of vitamin E, zeaxanthin and lutein significantly improved vision in people who already have cataracts and decreased risk of cataract formation.
So What Are the Best Eye Vitamins?
About 20 types of carotenoids found in nature make their way into the eyes. The most important are zeaxanthin and lutein because they’re delivered in the highest amounts into the delicate macula of the eyes. Zeaxanthin helps protect the eye’s lens, tissue, and macula, which prevents disorders like cataracts, light sensitivity, glare, and clears vision.
This carotenoid phytonutrient has anti-inflammatory properties and its nickname is “the eye vitamin.” Lutein protects both the skin and eyes.
It is found in foods like leafy green vegetables, orange vegetables, egg yolks, and citrus fruits.
Researchers at Harvard University have found that 6 milligrams daily of lutein taken as a supplement, can lower the risk for macular degeneration by an average of 43%. (5)
Vitamin E, vitamin C, and vitamin A keep tissue and cells protected and strong. Consuming plenty vitamin A and vitamin E together improves vision and healing in people undergoing laser eye surgery.
Studies show that people who consume at least 400 IU of vitamin E daily, along with vitamin C, vitamin A (as beta-carotene), and zinc have about a 25% lower risk of developing advanced stages of macular degeneration.
Vitamin C is powerful antioxidant that helps protect your vision by helping you absorb more nutrients and trace minerals in general and fighting free radicals. This crucial vitamin slows down inflammatory responses, helps repair damaged tissue, prevents cellular mutations and much more.
Vitamin A (Beta Carotene)
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that prevents loss of vision caused by degenerative conditions, such as macular degeneration and cataract. It also helps slow the progression of nerve damage – neuropathy.
A report published by Journal of the American Medical Association of Ophthalmology, revealed that to prevent night blindness and xerophthalmia we need to obtain adequate vitamin A, especially if we’re low in other key nutrients. (6)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and are able to slow down the effects of aging. They protect tissue, stabilize blood sugar levels, help fight eye damage caused by diabetes, help stop cells from mutating and improve circulation.
People who consume a lot of hydrogenated vegetable oils and processed foods are most likely to be omega-3-deficient along with those on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Zinc is one of the most important nutrients for nutrient absorption. In combination with other vitamins, it fights inflammation and cellular damage, lowers risk for macular degeneration and helps protect the retina.
In fact, zinc plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy circulation, proper cell growth, and cell division, controlling inflammatory cytokines that attack tissue and balancing hormones that prevent autoimmune reactions. The best sources of zinc are nuts, fish, and grass-fed meat.
Here you can read more about Zinc Benefits, Including Immunity, Fertility & Fighting Cancer.
The Best Foods For Eye Health
To protect your vision and to get the eye vitamins you need the best is to eat real foods and always try to include some raw foods too.
Here is a list of some of the best foods with best eye vitamins:
- Leafy green veggies (spinach, collard greens, kale, turnip greens, mustard greens)
- Carrots and carrot juice
- Cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)
- Sweet potatoes
- Citrus fruits
- Green beans
- Nuts and seeds (sesame, sunflower, almond, hazelnut, brazil nuts, etc.)
- Red bell peppers
- Kiwi, papaya, mango, guava, and melon
- Eggs (including the yolk)
- Wild-caught seafood, high-zinc foods and omega-3 foods (sardines, mackerel, salmon, halibut, herring, tuna, etc.)
- Grass-fed meat, and pasture-raised poultry