In a sense, it is possible for us to eat our way to better eye health! You've probably heard about carrots, but there are other sources of nutrition that take aim at our eyesight, and some of those sources are nutritional supplements.
Some Perspective on Vision HealthOur ability to see is important, and something we should not take for granted. Some deterioration of vision is normal as part of the aging process. This includes trouble focusing on things close to your face, and some trouble adjusting between light and dark environments. What is not natural is vision loss.
Partial or total vision loss is fairly common in the United States. The CDC reports that approximately 12 million people in the U.S. over age 40 have some sort of vision impairment. The risk of experiencing a disorder which causes vision loss does increase with age. Disorders which might cause vision loss include cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.
Aspects of your lifestyle and occasional doctor visits can go a long way in preventing vision loss. Visiting an eye doctor yearly for a routine exam is worth it, because most vision disorders can be helped if they're treated early. Avoiding smoking, managing diabetes if you have it, exercise, and wearing sunglasses on sunny days also go a long way in ensuring vision health over time.
Supplements that Bolster Vision HealthThe substances we take can have significant positive effects on organ processes, and your eye health and vision are no exception. What follows are some supplements that are believed to help bolster vision health. Most of these supplements are backed by credible scientific study.
1. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two substances found in plants, which are known for their value in helping prevent macular degeneration. Specifically, they are carotenoids, which are pigments, and they help to absorb excess light energy in some plants and prevent sun damage. In humans, they are found in the macula, which is in the central part of your eye's retina. Various scientific studies have found that nutritional supplementation of lutein and zeaxanthin helped increase macular density (which is a good thing), and helped prevent macular degeneration, a common eye disorder.
2. Vitamin A is important in helping your eye maintain a clear cornea, and in promoting the production of rhodopsin, a protein which helps you see in dim light. Vitamin A deficiency is uncommon in the U.S., but if you are concerned about your vision, make sure to get enough Vitamin A to prevent xerophthalmia. This disorder leads to various eye issues, and eventually blindness. There is some scientific evidence to suggest that diets high in Vitamin A lessen the chances of macular degeneration and cataracts.
3. Black currant and bilberry, like lutein and zeaxanthin, are pigments thought to help promote eye and vision health. They contain multiple active ingredients, such as anthocyanins cyanidin-3-glucoside, that are helpful. These and other active ingredients promote blood circulation in the eyes (called microcirculation), healthy night vision, and retinal signaling speed, which coordinates your vision and central nervous system responses.
4.Vitamin C has various potential benefits to your vision health. It is a necessary component for your body to make collagen, an essential protein that provides structure in the cornea and other parts of the eye. Vitamin C might also help reduce the risk of cataracts, which impair vision by clouding the lens of the eye.
5. Omega-3 fatty acids are a supplement with a long list of benefits. They are important to the functioning of the eyes because certain omega-3s are essential to cell membrane structure in the retina. Taking omega-3s helps keep the cells of your eyes healthy, and they might also help prevent diabetic retinopathy. Lastly, omega-3s might be helpful in promoting tear production, which lessens the chances of eye dryness.
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