Aging brings changes to nearly every part of the human body and the eyes are certainly no exception. In addition to the development of age-related eye conditions, such as glaucoma and cataracts, people often develop a reduction in their ability to see well while doing ordinary tasks or driving at night as they grow older. While corrective lenses can help manage these vision issues, nutritional aspects, such as vitamins and herbal supplements are now believed to play a supportive role in helping to alleviate or improve some types of vision issues related to aging.
Vitamins for vision health
While a balanced diet with plenty of vitamin rich fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to promote overall health, there are certain vitamins and minerals that offer specific benefits for the eyes, especially as they age. These include:
- vitamin A - found naturally in foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, liver and dark leafy greens
- vitamin C - found naturally in foods such as citrus fruits, bell peppers, kale, strawberries and tropical fruits, such as papaya and kiwi
- vitamin E - found naturally in nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans and cashews, as well as sunflower seeds and commonly available foods like dark leafy greens, shellfish, fish, olive oil, pumpkin and broccoli
- zinc - found naturally in shellfish, such as oysters and lobster, as well as some types of meat and dairy products, including beef, pork and yogurt
Herbal supplements to support aging eyes
In addition to vitamins and minerals, some types of herbs are also believed to support and protect eye health and help eyes resist the ravages of aging. These herbs include:
These and other herbal supplements are believed to help reduce eye inflammation, relieve dryness and lower harmful pressure inside the eye.
Check with your eye care professional
While making changes in your diet to include more vitamin rich foods, such as those listed above, is generally considered safe, remember to discuss therapeutic levels of vitamins, minerals or any type of herbal supplements with your eye care professional.
In many cases, they will be able to guide you in buying eye care vitamins, minerals or herbal supplements that are produced and manufactured under strict safety guidelines. Since it is possible to take too little or too much of these nutrients, your eye care professional can also help you with dosing instructions and educate you about potential side effects.