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Eat Right for Good Sight

Opticians are often asked if there’s a particular supplement or eye drop that can keep eyes healthy. If only we had a magic wand to give that singular piece of advice to grant this wish. Rather like keeping our body and minds healthy, requiring a multi-faceted approach, so is the way in which we can adapt our lifestyle to hopefully maintain good eye health and vision.

a bunch of carrots - do they help you see in the dark?

the college of optometrists lifestyle and eyes booklet

A good place to start is with our diet. Most of us have no idea that what we eat can affect how well we see. There are a number of types of food that have been linked to good eye sight and maintaining healthy eyes. We’ve moved on quite a bit from the old adage “carrots make you see in the dark”. There is some truth in this though as carrots contain Vitamin A, which is required for the body to synthesise an important pigment in the eyes that helps us see well in low-light conditions. Likewise, blueberries and grapes contain anthocyanins, which may help with night vision. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach or kale, are just as vital in giving us vitamins and nutrients important for eye health. They are rich in carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxanthin, which help form a yellow pigment to protect macula health. Tomatoes, especially if cooked, contain nutrients that can also protect against Age-Related Macula degeneration. Eggs may protect the lens of the eye from cataracts and whole grain and avocados are rich in Vitamin B. A deficiency in Vitamin B increases the likelihood of developing cataracts and retinopathy (damage at the retina). If you suffer Dry Eye, oily fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve the comfort of your eyes.

We all want to believe that we have some control over maintaining good, overall general health, including that of our eyes. By including some extra food types in your diet or eliminating or minimising ones that have no nutritional benefit could be a good place to start.

For further advice of how lifestyle factors can affect your eyes, we have a useful guide in practice that you’re welcome to take home.


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