Looking to protect your eye health? Start here!
You know it when you feel it—tired, achy eyes from staring at your phone or computer too long or extended periods of time outside in bright sunlight.
Solution: Environment & Habit Changes
Dim your ambient lighting (indirect, or from sources other than what you’re looking directly at) by closing the window coverings, avoiding harsh fluorescent bulbs or using an anti-glare screen on your computer.
Be sure to allow your eyes to rest: take periodic breaks for what some doctors call the 20-20-20 rule: “look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds.” Ask your eye doctor about customized computer glasses.
When your eyes do not properly produce tears, it can be painful, annoying and potentially damaging. Dry eyes can have many root causes.
Solution: General & Targeted Choices
In preliminary research involving omega-3 EFAs, such as those found in krill oil, patients reported marked improvements in dry eye symptoms. Krill oil is also a source of astaxanthin, another eye-health-supporting nutrient.
Eye drops can also help alleviate symptoms, but avoid those that contain preservatives if you expect to use them frequently.
Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis L.) has a long history of use in supporting many areas of vision health. It has shown to have antioxidant potential as well as an impact on nitric oxide levels in the corneal cells.
3Age-Related Vision Concerns
The macula—the part of your eye that focuses light—can deteriorate with age, leading to diminished vision as we age as proteins in the lens gradually break down, creating the signature cloudiness.
Solution: Antioxidant Carotenoids
Astaxanthin is an antioxidant carotenoid found primarily in algae but also in certain shellfish. As a highly potent antioxidant, astaxanthin helps to protect the cells of the macula against free-radical damage.
Studies indicate that lutein and zeaxanthin, also antioxidants, help protect the macula from damaging blue light.
Eating healthy, not smoking and maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels can support eye health. Regular visits to your optometrist can monitor your eyes for any changes.
Astaxanthin, Lutein & Zeaxanthin Sources
Eggs, leafy greens such as spinach and kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red pepper (paprika, cayenne); pink-ish/red fish and shellfish such as salmon, lobster and shrimp.
4Overall Eye Health
Antioxidant nutrients —vitamins C, E and A (beta carotene) plus selenium, lutein, zinc, astaxanthin and zeaxanthin—help fortify the eye’s defenses against the rigors of daily life and environmental exposure.
Solution: Tackle Eye Health from Every Angle
Vitamin C helps protect against UV light. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant for healthy cell membranes and overall eye support. Vitamin A (beta carotene) and zinc work in conjunction to produce melanin, a pigment that helps protect the eye.
Wear sunglasses regularly, avoid smoking, take breaks from activities that strain or tire your eyes and visit your eye doctor often, and you’re on your way to a lifetime of healthy vision!
As always, check with your doctor before taking any dietary supplement if you're pregnant, nursing or taking blood thinners (anticoagulants). Be sure you're taking the dosage your doctor recommends.
Beta Carotene, Vitamins C and E, Zinc Sources
Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach and other dark greens; Bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits; nuts & seeds, avocado, dark leafy greens; red meat, pumpkin seeds, beans such as lentil and garbanzo.