Good for you if your eye doctor informs you after your eye health exams that your eyes are in great shape!
However, your doctor may also discuss how you can keep your eyes healthy even as you get older. Though eyes, like the rest of the body, still go through aging, it’s possible to maintain eye health for a longer time.
Conversely, if you fail to take good care of your eyes, you may become a candidate for various eye conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration or AMD.
Such eye problems typically stem from deficiencies in nutrition. The eyes need vitamins like the rest of the body to remain healthy.
Here are some of the nutrients that may help you maintain optimal eye health:
Beta Carotene and Vitamin A
Night blindness is common among people who lack vitamin A. This is because vitamin A is a component of rhodopsin, which is a protein that helps the eyes see in conditions with limited light.
While it’s a good idea to shop for eyeglass frames and prescription lenses when your eyesight needs some help, it’s also worth trying to increase your vitamin A intake. Not only does it support low-light vision, but it also helps lubricate your eyes, as it supports the cornea’s function and helps your eye produce moisture.
Many colorful fruits and vegetables contain beta carotene, which is one of the best natural sources of vitamin A for humans.
Free radicals contribute to tissue damage. They may also damage eye proteins, which leads to cataract formation.
To combat free radicals, the body needs antioxidants. Vitamin E, in the form of alpha-tocopherol, is a powerful antioxidant. Load up on seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils. You can also up your intake of green leafy veggies and fortified cereals.
Vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant that can reduce the risk of cataracts and cataract progression. You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits like oranges, as well as from strawberries, brussels sprouts, broccoli, peppers, and potatoes.
According to at least one study, women who consume B-6, B-9, and B-12 vitamins may lower their risk of developing AMD. Another study suggests a diet higher in B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine, as well as in protein and vitamin A, may lower the rate of nuclear cataracts.
Seafood, eggs, poultry, dairy products, legumes, nutritional yeast, leafy greens, and seeds are some of the best sources of B vitamins.
Your eye doctor may also mention zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, and lutein as good nutrients that support eye health. While some people prefer dietary supplements, your best source of nutrients is still your diet, so eat a lot of antioxidant-rich foods instead of relying on supplements. You should also think about improving your lifestyle with enough exercise and rest.
Get in touch with Excel Eyecare OD PA for more information on nutrients that support your eyes’ wellbeing. We can also discuss Lipiflow if you have problems with dry eyes. Call us today at (980) 319-1870 or schedule an appointment here.