Q. Are there certain vitamins or foods that help you keep healthy eyes?
A. Vitamins, when taken correctly, contribute significantly to the body’s overall health. Since good vision is directly linked to a healthy body, it can be said that vitamins, while not necessarily a cure for impaired vision, can in fact aid in maintaining good eye health.
A recent study of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) treatments showed that more than 75% of the participants who took certain vitamin supplements were able to maintain their level of vision, while more than half reported actual improvements. Since untreated AMD typically causes some degree of progressive and irreversible vision loss, these results suggest that vitamins, along with a healthy lifestyle, proper diet and exercise can help maintain good eye health and clear vision. It seems reasonable to assume that strengthening of the eye defenses by increasing the intake of foods or supplements rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) and carotenoids (lutein & zeaxanthin) would be helpful in preventing chronic aging eye diseases. But because no two people are exactly the same, and different medications can react to increases in vitamin levels, you should always consult with your doctor before beginning any new vitamin regimen.
Charles Kirby, M.D.
Chattanooga Eye Institute
5715 Cornelison Rd. #6600
Chattanooga, TN 37411