How to protect your vision
Mary K. Nagai, MD, iMD, PhD
A: Many simple actions can help you protect and maintain healthy vision. For starters, wear sunglasses year-round, reduce the number of hours your eyes are exposed to blue light and UV rays, and get regular exercise.
In 2001, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) reported that a diet rich in vitamins C and E, beta carotene, copper, and zinc supports healthy vision. Study participants experienced a reduced risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
In 2013, the AREDS2 study reported that supplementing with lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids may slow the progression of advanced AMD by up to 25 percent.
However, it is almost impossible to consume enough meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables to meet the daily recommended intake suggested by AREDS and AREDS2. The most effective way to achieve these recommendations is through a supplement formulated to support eye health. Look for a product containing at least 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin.
Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in the retina, and they’re essential for proper eye development and function. Omega-3s may also optimize the absorption and delivery of lutein and zeaxanthin to the eyes.
In addition, alpha-lipoic acid, bilberry fruit, and grapeseed extract are powerful antioxidants that have been shown to support visual acuity and reduce the risk of developing cataracts and AMD. The antioxidant power of grapeseed extract is 20 times greater than that of vitamin E and 50 times greater than that of vitamin C.
Take a supplement with a combination of these nutrients to help maintain healthy vision as you age, enabling you to enjoy life to the fullest.