· By Dr. Kaushal M. Kulkarni, M.D.
Vitamin Supplements For Eye Health: Which Are The Best?
The most important structure in the eye is called the retina. The retina has photoreceptors, which are specialized cells that take the light signals from the outside world and transform them into electrical signals. These electrical signals then travel through the optic nerve to your brain to make a visual image for you. If it sounds incredibly complicated—it is.
BEST SUPPLEMENTS FOR EYESWhat are the best supplements for eyes? Can you improve your vision and treat vision-related challenges by eating a balanced diet? It’s important to consume nutrients as these are important at every age. Especially as we lay increasing stress on our eyes with increasing screen time, it’s now more important than ever to ensure our body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs to carry out important ocular functions, overcome strain, and maintain overall good eye health.
Eyetamins discusses some of the best vitamins for vision health, what foods are rich in them, and the significance of eye health supplements for maintaining great visual health and clarity.
Vitamin AAmong the crucial vitamin supplements for eye health are Vitamin A and its derivatives. They are important because they help to form a larger compound called rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is a very complex protein that helps your retinal cells move light signals to electrical impulses to travel to your brain. If you aren’t getting enough of this nutrient, you can develop a disease called xerophthalmia. Xerophthalmia begins with night blindness, which would make it impossible for you to drive in the dark. If it is not treated, your tear ducts and your cornea can also become progressively more dry. Eventually, people with xerophthalmia can develop blindness. Eye vitamins that are good for you can help treat dryness such as this.
Most people get plenty of Vitamin A through their diet. Examples of foods that are rich in this nutrient are bell peppers, leafy green vegetables, and pumpkins. There is also some research that suggests that taking supplements with vitamin A may also lower your risk of getting cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Eyesight improvement is the goal which we help you achieve with our products.
Vitamin EVitamin E is also one of the vital vitamin supplements for eye health. It is very helpful for your eyes, because it relieves oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a term used to describe what happens when the cells in your body are overworked. Just like a factory, when your cells are working hard, they give off waste products or reactive compounds. If those compounds aren’t cleaned from your body, it can cause tissue damage—or oxidative stress. This is why certain compounds are called antioxidants - they protect your cells from damage.
Vitamin CVitamin C is also important for your ocular health. It is another antioxidant that works to protect your precious eyes from damage. When combined with the other nutritional supplements, it can reduce the damage and progression of different diseases significantly. Because it is also needed to make collagen, it works to give structure to the sclera and cornea. This also aids in the prevention of cataracts, and helps prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Lutein and ZeaxanthinLutein and zeaxanthin are called carotenoids, which are compounds that come from plants. While there are over 600 carotenoids found in nature, only lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in the retina, which makes them highly beneficial vitamin supplements for eye health. The compounds are found both in your retina and your macula. They also function as natural blue light filters. Blue light is the short wavelength, high energy of light that comes off of the digital screens that most of us use for 8-10 hours per day. This is what can contribute to digital eye strain.
Both lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in green leafy vegetables, especially spinach, collard greens, and kale. However, it is very difficult to get these compounds in high enough quantities to be a benefit to your body. Instead, you’ll need to take a nutritional supplement that contains lutein and zeaxanthin. This is important, because these compounds are not produced in the body, and have to come from supplements or through your diet. To make sure that you are getting enough nutrition, be sure that your nutritional supplement has 20 mg of lutein and 4mg of zeaxanthin for adults, and around 10mg of lutein and 2mg of zeaxanthin for kids age 12 and under.
ZincZinc is a helpful vitamin supplement for eye health for two reasons. First, the mineral works to maintain your retina, cell membranes, and protein structures. Second, the mineral also helps vitamin A move from your liver into the retina to work with melanin production. Melanin helps keep your corneas and retinas safe from ultraviolet light.
Omega Fatty AcidsMany people have heard about Omega fatty acids and how they can benefit the heart. However it’s a relatively lesser known fact that these acids can also benefit your visual system and treat dry eye as well.
Some researchers believe that omega fatty acids may help reduce the symptoms of dry eye. This issue affects as many as 20 million Americans. Over time, it can cause your vision to become weaker, because your eyeballs need to be lubricated to work properly.
The reason omega fatty acids are crucial vitamin supplements for eyes health is that the acids are actually polyunsaturated fats, and there is a high quantity of omega fatty acid in the retina’s cell membranes. Eating foods high in omegas seems to benefit your retina and helps it work more efficiently. Omegas really benefit people who struggle with dry eye disease.
If you have dry eyes, you may notice that your eyeballs are dry and uncomfortable, causing tearing, itching, burning, soreness, foreign body sensation (a sandy/gritty feeling), and you may even have blurry vision. A supplement high in Omegas, such as sea berry , made from Tibetan sea buckthorn, can help relieve dry eye, making it one of the best supplements for vision.
If you need more omega fatty acids in your normal diet, you can include more Chia seeds, fish, flaxseeds, nuts, and soy. You can also get your omega fatty acids from cooking oil, such as canola oil, olive oil, or any oils from grains such as flaxseed oil. However, sea berry by eyetamins™ contains Omega 3, 7, and 9, which is a rare combination of omegas that has been proven to relieve dry eye.
Hi Linda, there are no specific supplements for MacTel, but our Vision Support formula is a good general eye supplement to support macular health.
I have something called MacTel Type 2 and wonder if you have anything to help with that?
Linda Garrett on