Diet and nutrition play key roles in the overall health of the eyes. A patient’s risk of some eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration may be lowered with a diet rich with certain vitamins and nutrients. At his eye care practice in Cleveland, optometrist Jeffrey Schultz may recommend eye vitamins to promote the health of the eyes. These vitamins and nutrients may include vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and lutein and zeaxanthin.
Vitamins for the Eyes
Patients of all ages can benefit from a diet rich with vitamins and nutrients. A patient may be able to lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, or other eye diseases by supplementing his or her diet with a combination of certain vitamins and nutrients:
- Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid, more commonly known as vitamin C, is found in fruits and vegetables. It has the capability of lowering a patient’s risk of developing cataracts. It may even be able to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration when used in conjunction with other nutrients. This is especially important as age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 55. Vitamin C helps to support the health of the blood vessels of the eyes. Long-term intake of vitamin C can significantly reduce a patient’s risk of developing certain types of cataracts. A daily intake of 500 mg of vitamin C, in conjunction with other vitamins and nutrients, may help a patient reduce his or risk of certain types of cataracts.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E promotes eye health by protecting the cells of the eyes from free radicals. Free radicals break down healthy tissues within the eyes. Vitamin E can be found in sweet potatoes, nuts, and in fortified cereals. There is evidence supporting that vitamin E may reduce the progression of age-related macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts in some patients. A daily intake of 400 mg of vitamin E, combined with other vitamins and nutrients, may be able to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration up to 25 percent for some patients.
- Zinc: A deficiency of zinc can greatly impair a person’s vision. Zinc deficiency may lead to the development of cloudy cataracts in some patients. A daily intake of 40 to 80 mg of zinc, in conjunction with other vitamins and nutrients, may slow the progression of advanced-age macular degeneration up to 25 percent for some patients.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: These nutrients can be found in eggs, green leafy vegetables, and other foods. There is strong evidence that these nutrients can reduce a person’s risk of certain chronic eye diseases. Lutein and zeaxanthin help to protect healthy cells within the eyes. A patient’s risk of developing cataracts may be greatly reduced with the daily intake of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Offering a wide selection of eyewear and eye care treatments for the entire family, Lifetime Eye Care specializes in maintaining excellent health and vision of the eyes. To learn more about the benefits of vitamins for the eyes, or to schedule a comprehensive eye examination, please contact Lifetime Eye Care today. Dr. Jeffrey Schultz and his staff look forward to helping you with all of your eye needs.