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Vitamins and Minerals for Vision Health

By Molly Allman

A healthy diet has countless benefits for the body and mind, but many people do not realize that consuming adequate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals also helps keep the eyes in good health and prevent vision problems. The thought of losing one’s vision can be frightening, as vision loss most commonly occurs as a person ages.

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the United States and occurs in people 55 and over. There are steps people can take to keep their eyes healthy and reduce the risk of vision loss.

Risks Factors of Macular Degeneration

The risk factors for macular degeneration are believed to contribute to a reduction in oxygen and blood supply to the eye leading to macula damage. These risk factors include:

  • Aging and free radicals- Free radicals not only cause the skin to age, but also the eyes.
  • Smoking- While it is not fully understood, smoking greatly increases a person’s risk for macular degeneration.
  • Atherosclerosis- Hardening of the arteries occurs when cholesterol, fat and other substances build up in the arteries and form plaque. This reduces blood flow and leads to damage of the macula.
  • High blood pressure- This condition also restricts blood and oxygen flow to the macula, leading to a decrease in amounts of needed nutrients in and wastes out.

A Healthy Diet Reduce Risks

Living a healthy lifestyle that includes a proper diet is the best way to help prevent macular degeneration as people age. Adding vitamins and supplements that support eye health is also important, but should not take place of a diet rich in vegetables, lean meats and fruits. 

Recent studies have highlighted the benefits of lutein to help support eye health and in the treatment of both cataracts and macular degeneration.  

Many people today are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency, and studies have shown that vitamin D plays an important role in eye health and in reducing the risk of age-related vision loss. Taking a multivitamin supplement along with a healthy diet can go a long way in the prevention of macular degeneration.

Reducing Risks

A few simple lifestyle changes can help you reduce your risk of age-related vision loss. Some beneficial lifestyle changes include:

  • Stop smoking
  • Wear sunglasses with UVB and UVA protection
  • Get regular eye exams
  • Give your eyes rest when needed
  • Stay fit because maintaining a healthy body contributes to eye health.
  • Take the supplements for eye health
  • Get regular check-ups to maintain blood pressure and cholesterol levels

By taking control of one’s life, eating healthy and getting regular physicals, a person can keep both the body and the eyes healthy. Everything in the body is connected and overall health and wellbeing are important for staying well.


Macular degeneration and vision problems such as cataracts can be prevented with some lifestyle changes and maintaining a healthy diet. Supplements containing vitamin D and lutein may help reduce the risk of age-related vision problems. 


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