About 12 million Americans ages 40 years and over have a vision impairment. If you’re worried about your eyesight, you might want to review your diet first. Without the right vitamins and minerals, your sight could decline.

Here are nine essential vitamins for eye health to add to your daily routine. These vitamins can help strengthen your sight. They might help you avoid eye health issues down the road, too. 

Read on to learn more about these nine vitamins for eye health today!

1. Vitamin A

In order to maintain a clear cornea (the outer covering of your eye), you need vitamin A.

Vitamin A is a component of rhodopsin, a protein in the eyes that ensures you can see in lower light conditions. Without vitamin A, your tear ducts and eyes can dry out as well.

As a result, your cornea will begin to soften, which might lead to irreversible blindness. 

Though vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed countries, it’s important not to leave it unattended. Otherwise, you could develop xerophthalmia. 

Xerophthalmia is a progressive eye disease. One of the initial symptoms is night blindness.

In fact, adding vitamin A to your routine might protect you from future eye afflictions. For example, a diet high in vitamin A might reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration. Your risk of cataracts might decline, too.

Consider getting vitamin A from foods like leafy greens, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes. You can add these vitamins for eye health to your routine with supplements, too. 

2. B Vitamins

Talk to your eye doctor in Lexington, KY about B vitamins for eye health.

Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 could lower levels of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine is a protein that’s associated with inflammation. Chronic inflammation can increase your risk of serious health conditions like heart disease and stroke.

Homocysteine might also increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.

In one study, taking these three vitamins reduced the risk of female patients developing AMD by 34%. We need more research to fully understand how B vitamins impact eye health, though. 

3. Vitamin C

Consider adding antioxidants like vitamin C to your routine. Vitamin C can benefit your eye health by protecting you from damaging free radicals.

It’s also necessary for the protection of collagen. Collagen is a protein found throughout the body. It gives structure to your skin, muscles, ligaments, and eyes. 

Particularly, collagen provides structure to the sclera and cornea. 

Some studies also indicate vitamin C can lower your risk of cataracts. Otherwise, you might experience impaired or cloudy vision. If these symptoms sound familiar, talk to your Versailles optometrist right away.

You can find vitamin C in kale, broccoli, citrus, bell peppers, and tropical fruits. 

4. Vitamin E

Some eye conditions are connected with oxidative stress, which occurs when there’s an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. You can add vitamin E to your list of the best vitamins for eye health to reduce oxidative stress.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant. It can help protect cells throughout your body, including the ones in your eyes.

Otherwise, free radicals (unstable, harmful molecules) can cause damage to healthy cells. 

It’s possible that a diet high in vitamin E might prevent age-related cataracts as well. However, we need more research to say for certain.

You can add vitamin E foods to your diet with leafy greens, salmon, avocado, and nuts.

If you’re already taking supplements and medications, talk to your eye doctor in Lexington, KY. We can help you make informed choices regarding your eye health. 

5. Niacin

Niacin is a B vitamin (vitamin B3) that helps convert food into energy. Like vitamins C and E, it’s also an antioxidant.

Niacin might also play a role in preventing glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition that can damage the optic nerve of your eye.

When adding the best vitamins for eye health to your routine, make sure to consult your Lexington eye care specialist first. High amounts of niacin might have adverse effects on your eyes. For example, they might cause macular damage or blurred vision.

Niacin is found in legumes, peanuts, mushrooms, and fish. 

6. Riboflavin

Riboflavin is actually another B vitamin (vitamin B2). It works as an antioxidant to help protect your body from oxidative stress.

Increasing your intake of riboflavin might decrease your risk of cataracts. Otherwise, a prolonged deficiency might cause the condition. Many people with cataracts are also deficient in B2.

Consume foods that are high in riboflavin, including yogurt, beef, milk, and oats. 

7. Zeaxanthin and Lutein

Zeaxanthin and lutein belong to the carotenoid family. These beneficial compounds are synthesized by plants.

Both are found in the eye’s macula and retina. They help filter harmful blue light. As a result, they’re able to protect your eyes from potential damage.

Both compounds might help prevent cataracts. They could prevent or slow the progression of AMD as well.

In order to add these compounds to your routine, consume more spinach, kale, and collard greens.

8. Thiamine

Vitamin B1, or thiamine, plays a part in cell function. It also helps convert food into energy.

Thiamine might help reduce your risk of cataracts. It’s found in whole grains, fish, and meat. 

9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in olive oil, soy, salmon, and nuts. They’re a type of polyunsaturated fat. 

The cell membranes in the retina contain high levels of a type of omega-3 called DHA.

Omega-3s help the cells of your eye. They also have anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, they could help prevent diabetic retinopathy.

If you’re struggling with dry eyes, omega-3 fats could help you produce more tears. Otherwise, a lack of tears can cause blurry vision, discomfort, and dryness. 

20-20 Vision: 9 Essential Vitamins for Eye Health

Start improving your vision this year! Talk to your eye doctor in Lexington, KY about these vitamins for eye health. With our help, you can make informed lifestyle changes to benefit your vision. 

See clearer with these amazing vitamins today.

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Contact us today to get started.