Vitamins for the eyes - Vitamin E

Vitamin E is the collective name for a group of eight fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities that help protect the membranes of cells and reduce the oxidation of the bad cholesterol (LDL). Vitamin E is necessary for structural and functional maintenance of skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle. It also assists in the formation of red blood cells and helps maintain stores of vitamins A and K, iron, and selenium. It may have a positive effect on immune health, protect against the oxidative damage that can lead to heart disease, have preventive effects against cancer, help relieve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and may help prevent some diabetes-related damage, particularly to the eyes. Some studies suggest that vitamin E helps to possibly prevent cataracts, and it might be yet another factor in preventing macular degeneration (AMD). Vitamin E deficiency causes such problems as poor transmission of nerve impulses, muscle weakness, and retinal degeneration that leads to blindness. This vitamin is found mainly in foods that contain fat like margarine, vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts, nut butters, and seeds.

Vitamins for the eyes - Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods and can be made in our body when exposed to the sunrays. Among older Americans, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss, with more than 25 million people worldwide suffering from it. AMD occurs when part of the retina deteriorates. Because AMD affects the central portion of vision, it impacts daily activities like driving, reading and doing close work. People with early AMD are associated with lower levels of vitamin D in their blood. Including vitamin D in your lifestyle can help keep you from being a part of this affected group.While there’s no substitute for vitamin D obtained through sunlight, you can get vitamin D through a variety of foods including milk, cold-water fish such as red sockeye salmon, sardines or cod liver oil and other foods containing essential fatty acids, as well as nutritional supplements. Omega-3 is the most well known essential fatty acid, which can be found in avocado, salmon, tuna and dark leafy vegetables.

Vitamins for the eyes - Vitamin C

Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin abundant in fruits and vegetables, vitamin C helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, which also exists in the cornea of the eye. Vitamin C also promotes healthy bones, skin and blood vessels, including the delicate vessels in the retina. Studies suggest long-term consumption of vitamin C also may reduce the risk of forming a cataract and vision loss from macular degeneration. Unlike most animals, humans are unable to produce vitamin C in the body. So we must get our daily dose of ascorbic acid from our diet. A diet deficient in vitamin C can lead to a serious disease scurvy which causes muscle weakness among other problems. Excellent natural sources of vitamin C include peppers, citrus fruits, berries, tropical fruits, potatoes, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamins for the eyes - Vitamin B

B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. A deficiency in B-2 might also result in eye problems such as redness and irritation. You might also experience eye fatigue and light sensitivity. Vitamin B-2 might also help prevent cataracts, an eye condition that gradually affects the clarity of the lens inside the eye, resulting in cloudy vision. A deficiency in vitamin B-1, also known as thiamine, might cause eye muscle weakness and uncontrollable trembling. In rare instances, a deficiency in vitamin B-12 might also result in eye movement disorders. Vitamin B-12 is a nutrient found in many animal-based foods, and people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet have a higher risk for a deficiency. If you have low levels of vitamin B-12, you might experience loss of vision or double vision as a result of inadequate intake. B vitamins can be found in a variety of foods such as meat, soy beverages, grains and vegetables and fruits.