There's no doubt about it, a healthy diet and lifestyle are the main components for healthy eyes. It's not always easy to pack your diet with body-boosting vitamins and minerals throughout the day, and multi-vitamin supplements can help you give your body the nutrition it needs, especially when it comes to the eyes.
What vitamins does the eye need and why?
The eye relies on a number of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to stay healthy. They include:
- Vitamin A - helps keep the cornea (the clear front part of the eye that acts as a barrier against dirt, germs and other particles) clear. High levels of Vitamin A can also reduce risks of cataracts and macular degeneration. The nutrient can also aid in seeing in low lighting conditions.
- Vitamin E - this vitamin helps defend against oxidative stress when there's an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals. It's naturally found in foods such as nuts, seeds, salmon and avocado.
- Vitamin C - is a strong antioxidant that produces collagen (a protein that provides structure to the eye including the cornea and the sclera). It's also been suggested it may reduce the risk of cataracts. Citrus and tropical fruits are rich in Vitamin C, as is broccoli and kale.
- Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 - lowers the levels of homocysteine - a protein that causes inflammation and an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration.
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - reduces oxidative stress and prevents cataracts - cataract sufferers are usually deficient in this mineral.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) - helps convert food into energy. Niacin helps prevent glaucoma, a condition where the optic nerve of the eye becomes damaged.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin - these are part of compounds synthesised by plants and both can be found in the macula and retina of the eye. It can be found in leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens.
What to consider when choosing eye supplement?
- Quality - a good quality vitamin is best, as it won't be bulked out with cheaper ingredients
- Freshness - always check the use by date label to check if the vitamins are still in date.
- Form of vitamin - capsules are easier to digest than pills and usually don't have an aftertaste.
- Buy multivitamins and save - a good quality multivitamin will work out cheaper than buying vitamins separately. And with only one pill, you'll get a good dose of all the vitamins you need.
What else can I do to maximise the health of my eyes?
- If you're a smoker, quit - many people don't realise that as well as affecting the heart and lungs, smoking can also cause harm to vision. In fact, the link between smoking and sight loss is as strong as the links between smoking and lung cancer.
- Wear sunglasses - when it's sunny, pop them on to protect from those harmful UV rays.
- Use safety eyewear - protect your eyes from any hazards but keeping them protected when working.
- Look away from the computer screen - taking breaks from looking at a computer screen is important as its lets them rest. Try looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every hour.
- Make sure your prescription and glasses are kept up to date by having regular eye exams - it's important that you get a regular eye test and have the right prescriptions for your glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses.
How can Optical Express help me?
What we offer is more than just a sight test; it can help identify other issues too. Our expert ophthalmologists use world-class equipment to carry out a detailed examination of your eyes. Your eye test will analyse various aspects of your eye health, including your lifestyle, current prescription, eye pressure, and muscle strength - all of which helps your optometrist to formulate a detailed report of your eye health.
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