Eye Health Tips

Read these 13 Eye Health Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Vitamin tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What is a good source of Omega 3 oil for good eye nutrition?

Eye Nutrition with Omega 3 Fish Oils

You probably know that eating fish high in Omega 3 fish oils, like salmon and cod is good for your body's health and well being, but did you know it is good eye nutrition, too? People who eat diets high in Omega 3 fish oils show far fewer incidence of glaucoma, and there is evidence it can help prevent or improve the symptoms of other eye diseases, as well.

For example, Eskimo Native Americans, whose diet is rich in Omega 3 types of fish, have almost no incidences of glaucoma, and medical studies have found the same results. So, for good eye nutrition, eat the right foods, like salmon, cod, tuna, haddock and sardines, eat leafy green fruits and vegetables for lutein, and check with your doctor regarding other eye nutrition supplements.

   
Why is vitamin A important?

See The Light (And See In The Dark) With Vitamin A Supplements

Vitamin A plays many roles in the body, but it is especially important for promoting eye health. Vitamin A is also known as retinol because it helps develop the pigments in the retina of the eye and it plays a key role in maintaining night vision. In fact, studies have shown that vitamin A deficiency can impair night vision.

To keep your eye sight healthy and strong, consider the dosage. The RDI is 5,000 International Units (IU). Vitamin A comes from two sources: pre-formed retinoids and pro-vitamin carotenoids. Pre-formed retinoids are used immediately and come from fish oil, while pro-vitamin carotenoids are converted to vitamin A and come from plant sources. Carotenoids such as beta-carotene have strong antioxidant properties and can be converted to vitamin A as needed.

And if you have some macular degeneration, research suggests that taking high doses of beta-carotene may prevent further vision loss.
Similarly, the antioxidant lutein and the herb bilberry may promote eye health by reducing the risk of macular degeneration.

But vitamin A's benefits go beyond the eyes. Inadequate vitamin A also may make you more susceptible to infectious diseases. The mucous lining is the body's first barrier against infection and adequate vitamin A helps keep this important defense mechanism healthy.

Vitamin A also contributes to the development of healthy teeth, bones and skin. When you use a skin care product that contains retinol, you're benefiting from vitamin A, too.

Although you can get vitamin A from food sources, supplements can be beneficial for many people, especially those who are watching their fat and cholesterol. Many foods that are high in vitamin A come from animal sources (meat, milk, eggs, cheese, liver) and they are also high in cholesterol and saturated fat.

   
What eye health vitamins can help combat macular degeneration?

Eye Health Vitamins for Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, an eye disease that can result in loss of peripheral vision and even blindness is the most common cause of blindness and vision problems for people over 60 years old in America today. There are treatments for macular degeneration, but if the disease progresses too far, there are no treatments that will reverse the damage done to the eyes and restore vision.

There is good news about this debilitating disease, however. The right eye health vitamins can help keep macular degeneration from occurring, and can help keep the disease from progressing, as well. Antioxidant supplements including 500 mg of vitamin C, 400 IUs of vitamin E, 15 mg of beta-carotene, 80 mg of zinc, and 2 mg of copper per day were shown to help reduce the effects of macular degeneration in people suffering from the disease.

Symptoms of macular degeneration include straight lines that appear wavy, blurry vision, and a dark spot in the center of your vision that looks like a blind spot and begins to get larger. If you have any of these symptoms talk to your doctor and ask about adding eye health vitamins to your diet to help combat the problem.

   
What is lutein?

Lutein, an Eye Health Supplement

Lutein is another antioxidant very important to eye health. This eye health supplement can help prevent eye diseases such as macular degeneration, and is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, corn, peas, and others. If you don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, you can look for an eye health supplement that included lutein to help make sure your eyes remain healthy throughout your life.

You need to take at least 6mg of lutein per day to help reduce the risk of eye diseases, so look for an eye health supplement that contains at least this much lutein in the daily dosage. Many experts believe up to 10 mg of lutein per day is an even better amount to look for in your eye health supplement. Check with your doctor to find out the right amount for you so you can choose just the right eye health supplement with lutein.

   
How much beta carotene should I take for my eyes?

Beta Carotene or Bust

You've chomped on carrots like Bugs Bunny, your kids say, and yet your eyes still blur. Not because of any serious concussion or sunburn but because your eyes are aging.

Beta carotene, which does indeed give carrots that fabulous orange color, protects your eyes from free radical damage. But should you decide to take it as a supplement, it is like vitamin A, and you can get too much vitamin A. Some beta advice, Doc:

* For maximum antioxidant value, take beta carotene as part of a supplement with vitamins C and E.
* Anti-aging and Eye Nutrients and supplements often combine beta carotene with lycopene and lutein as well as alpha carotene.
* The average daily dose of beta carotene is 50 mg--if you think you need more than that, consult a nutritionist.

Alternately, you can take low-potency beta carotene for eye health and just keep munching those carrots!

   
What is a bilberry and why is it good for vision?

Bilberry for Vision

Bilberry sounds like the Hobbit. Actually, bilberry does come from merry old England--it's called the European blueberry, and like the blueberry, bilberry has flavonoids, a.k.a. antioxidants! You think that like blueberries, which are considered an antioxidant superfood, bilberry may give you the vision you need to find the One Ring to rule them all. Yes, there are women fantasy geeks and they all need good vision and eye health. Not as much as the guys that spend hours staring at computerized RPGs, but still...

Unlike beta carotene/vitamin A, which carries warnings about overly high dosages, bilberry doesn't have any warnings, except that it may not be effective for long-term eye health. Diabetic retinopathy does show some improvement, according to studies done on bilberry where the standard dosage is 120 to 240 mg of bilberry extract twice daily.

Huh? You mean the benefits of bilberry are as fake as orc feet? Bilberry may indeed be effective when combined with selenium, lutein, and beta carotene in an eye health formula. Other scientific research indicates that bilberry does preserve retinal health and that it should be taken three times daily as a liquid.

Like the question of which fantasy epic is better, the visual effects of bilberry is a source of debate. Frodo made a choice to cast the Ring into Mordor. You make your own decision about your eye health.

   
Can you prevent cataracts with vitamins?

Preventing Cataracts

Cataracts. Just the word signifies as much horror as wrinkles--although some wisdom holds that wrinkles are a sign of dignity. Not so with cataracts.

Just as you can take vitamins to keep your skin healthy and young looking, you can ingest minerals and vitamins to protect against cataracts. You can also quit smoking, wear UVA and UVB-blocking sunglasses, and get rid of diabetes, or never get it in the first place.

While you're doing the patch, buying the shades and losing weight, take 15 milligrams of zinc a day to prevent deterioriation of the retina and increase antioxidants.

PREVENTION magazine lays out this ideal anti-cataract formula:

* Beta-carotene: 25,000 IU (international units)
* Copper: 1 milligram for every 10 milligrams of zinc, but no more than 2 milligrams
* Zinc: 15 milligrams, can go to 50, but adjust your copper intake
* Selenium: A wonder antioxidant, 50-200 micrograms
* Vitamin C (rhymes with "see"): 500-3,000 milligrams
* Vitamin E: Standard 400 international units

Of course, all these antioxidants help your skin too. So now you need not fear covering up your eyes with thick glasses and your skin with that makeup that never looked good on you anyway. But you look great, and more importantly, you see clearly. Too clearly. That's a wrinkle, isn't it? Ah well, as long as you don't have cataracts...

   
What does blue light have to do with lutein?

Blue Light Special

If you see blurry lights, it could be because of blue light. Blur light in indoor lighting and sunlight can age your eyes with oxidation and free radicals.

Fortunately, lutein is the blue-light special of eye health. Lutein filters out blue light wavelengths (remember your science classes and the lessons on optics). We have other true-blue ways you can help lutein do its job:

* Take bilberry, selenium and beta carotene to support eye health and boost the effects of lutein.
* Purchase sunglasses that block blue light waves in sunlight, otherwise known as UVA and UVB.
* Purchase halogen bulbs with no blue light glare.
* Use a Fellowes CRT-reducing screen shield for your computer--you can attach it to the desktop screen (it may not work well with flat panels) and eliminate damage from computer glare!
* Eat spinach and green veggies high in lutein. These are your eyes we're talking about.

Avoiding blue light with lutein will keep you from seeing red when you realize you should have done something about your eye health.

   
If I take lutein, do I need my glasses?

Girls Who Wear Glasses

Some guys love sexy specs, according to Dorothy Parker. But you don't like them, can't do Lasik and are allergic to contacts. What do you do?

Lutein vitamin formulas and eye exercises can help you improve your eyesight if you have minor vision problems. For myopia and presbyopia, you'll need your eye doctor's help. But even your eye doctor will tell you to take lutein for eye health, because after all, you're too young to have cataracts, right? If you take vitamin C and E as well as bilberry, selenium and beta carotene, you may not get cataracts. Your sexy specs are fun, but thick bifocals aren't.

Did you just say your glasses were fun? Occasionally they are. But your hubby may just have to find something else to focus on. Lutein can gradually reduce your need for eyeglasses or at least limit them to reading and driving. You're beautiful anyway, glasses or no glasses.

   
Does lutein by itself keep my eyes healthy?

Can't Live by Lutein Alone

You probably think of lutein as a solo act, like Annie Lennox apart from the Eurythmics. But lutein and zeaxanthin are like John and Yoko, or Sonny and Cher back in the day.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are like love and marriage. Even if the vitamin bottle doesn't say "zeaxanthin," it's usually there. Just read the label closely.

Lutein and zeaxanthin (as well as bilberry, selenium, and beta carotene, the backup singers) work togetehr to keep bad fatty acids from forming. They also protect blood vessels in the eye. This dynamic singing duo is a hit with the macular degernation crowd, including the kids in their early thirties who have spent half their lives in front of a computer screen downloading music.

So check the label and make sure you see zeaxanthin billed together with lutein. Babe, I got you babe...just imagine.

   
Can I take vitamins for dry eyes?

Vitamin Help for Dry Eyes

Your daughter played the lead in "Romeo and Juliet" and you didn't cry. Your best friend has breast cancer. No tears. Are you a robot? No, you just have chronically dry eyes.

Lasik surgery can dry out your eyes. While you use ThereaTears regularly, you may also need an eye health supplement to stimulate tear production. Your eye needs lubrication--and your family and friends need to see that you're not indifferent.

Your typical tear supplement contains:

* Vitamin C
* Vitamin A
* Vitamin D3
* Vitamin E
* Vitamin B6
* Magnesium
* Black Currant Seed Oil and Cod Liver Oil
* Turmeric

Tears are necessarily to wash out your eyes. If all else fails, try chopping an onion. But take a teary-eyed formula for eye health first.

   
What eye supplements are right for preventing cataracts?

Eye Supplements for Better Vision

Vitamin A is a good eye supplement for good eye health, but so are vitamin C and vitamin E. Both contain antioxidants that provide eye health and well being, and both are very easy to obtain. Vitamin C is present at higher levels in the eyes than anywhere else in the body, and it has antioxidant qualities that help stop crystallization and buildup of foreign elements in the eyes that can lead to cataracts and their accompanying blurred vision.

Low levels of vitamin E can help lead to cataracts and macular degeneration, as well. When choosing vitamin C and E supplements for eye health, choose natural, not synthetic varieties, and be sure to check with your doctor if you are experiencing blurred vision or any other symptoms of eye problems. The right eye supplements can lead to better vision throughout your life.

   
How does vitamin A affect eye health?

Vitamin A and Eye Health

Vitamin A is important for eye health because deficiencies of vitamin A can lead to night blindness and eventual blindness if the deficiency continues long enough. If deficiencies continue, the eye's cornea will dry out and will eventually damage the retina and cornea to the point that blindness can occur. Vitamin A is stored in the liver, and deficiencies in the United States are rare, but are much more common in many third world countries, especially in children.

Vitamin A occurs naturally in many different types of meats and vegetables. Some of the best sources include beef and chicken liver, milk, cheese, eggs, carrots, and spinach. Too much vitamin A in the body can lead to health problems as well, so check with your doctor before you begin taking vitamin A supplements, they may not be necessary and they could lead to other symptoms like liver problems and osteoporosis.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Lynne Christen