Our eye health is typically sustained by the nutrients we receive from the foods we eat, but sometimes our diets don’t provide sufficient nutrition to keep our eyes healthy. In those cases, nutritional supplements may be necessary to protect against age-related eye disorders and reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Supplements like Omega-3 fish oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and zinc are helpful in maintaining optimal eye health, plus they help your physical and mental health, as well. Find out how nutritional supplements work and which ones your body needs to be healthy with this guide!
Our eyes are meant to last us for a lifetime, but as we age, our eyes tend to be one of the first organs in our bodies that suffer. Whether it be from disease, age or injury, our eyes are susceptible to many conditions that affect their ability to function properly. For this reason, it’s of vital importance to achieve and maintain good eye health early on so that we can prevent disease and blindness in the future. The first place that you should begin is your diet. To get the proper amounts of nutrition that your eyes need, you need to be eating sufficient amounts of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and whole grains. All of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need come from the food we eat, and if we aren’t eating the right foods, our health can decline rapidly. You should also be consuming protein in the form of lean meats, fish, nuts and beans. This, along with eating less added sugars, salt, trans and saturated fats, will not only improve eye health but keep the rest of your body’s organs healthy and functional. However, most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables to get the nutrition that they need, nor do they eat a balanced amount of the other food groups. Unfortunately, most of these diets consist of high-calorie, low-nutrition foods that do nothing for the body except clog arteries and cause weight gain. In these cases, supplementing your diet with nutritional supplements is an easy way to get the nutrition that your eyes (and the rest of your body) needs to maintain optimal health.
Before you rely on nutritional supplements for your nutritional needs, evaluate the foods that you are currently eating and make the correct changes to include each food group in your diet. Nutritional supplements are meant only to supplement your current diet if it is lacking proper nutrition, but you should be doing all you can to get the proper nutrition from the foods you consume beforehand. However, for those who aren’t getting the right amount of a certain vitamin or mineral, nutritional supplements have been proven to prevent vision loss from AMD, or Age-Related Macular Degeneration. This eye condition causes the center part of your eye to become blurry and can even make blind spots appear. While many debate the nutritional effects that supplements provide, the National Eye Institute performed a study in 2001 called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) to determine what, if any, vitamins could reduce the likelihood of patients developing AMD and cataracts, another eye disease, and which vitamins were the best ones to take. In that study, they found that beta-carotene, zinc, copper, and Vitamin C and E were effective at preventing vision loss in patients who were at high-risk of developing AMD specifically. In 2013, they did a follow-up study on nutritional supplements and found that lutein, zeaxanthin and Omega-3 fatty acids were also helpful in preventing vision loss. Other studies have found that supplementing with Vitamin D, bioflavonoids and phytochemical antioxidants, like bilberry, are also effective at lower your risks of eye disease. While these antioxidants and vitamins are naturally found in our foods, many patients simply don’t eat well enough to get them into their daily diet. Nutritional supplements that incorporate more Vitamin C, Vitamin E, zeaxanthin, lutein and Omega-3 fatty acids are therefore necessary to help patients achieve the eye health that they need.
One of the best ways to incorporate more Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is by supplementing with Omega-3 fish oil, which contains Omega-3 fatty acids that relieves eye redness and dry eye while simultaneously reducing the risk of cataracts and other eye-related disorders. Lutein and zeaxanthin supplements are also readily available on the market and have been proven to slow the progression of macular degeneration. While we know that these supplements are good for our eye health, it can be difficult to identify which ones our eyes are lacking in. To be advised on what your eye needs are, schedule an eye exam with your optometrist. He/she will be able to go over your family and personal health history with you, examine your eyes for any onset signs of eye-related disorders and advise you on which supplements would be best for your eye health needs. Most offer nutritional counseling and can make a step-by-step plan with you to incorporate supplements into your diet so that your vision needs are met.
At Peeper’s Optical, we offer Nordic Naturals Omega-3 fish oil supplements, along with other formulas that contain lutein and zeaxanthin, to promote better eye health in our patients. If your diet is lacking the nutrition that your eyes need for optimal health, call our office today at (303) 333-2800 to schedule a consultation about nutritional supplements. Call today to take the first steps towards better vision!