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Eye Health - What are the Best Eye Vitamins for Blurry Vision?

From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep, we are heavily dependent on our eyes. We use them to navigate the world around us and there is no way our lives can be the same without these peepers.

However, we take them for granted each day by not looking after our eyes. It is when we get a little older, and when our eyes start getting tired easily, that we realise how important these organs are. If you are struggling with some eye issues and it is making you a little worried, this article will explain more on blurry eyesight, how to care for them, along with nutrition and vitamin supplement tips to improve your eye health.

Why do my eyes get blurry?

If you are searching frantically on Google, blinking between seconds because you are worried about your eyes getting blurry, stop for a minute and take a deep breath. There can be many reasons as to why your vision is blurry, but panicking will not make it better. We will look at the common eight reasons:

1. You’ve suffered / are suffering from Stroke

If you’ve suffered from a stroke, vision problems can sometimes occur. A part of the brain is starved of oxygen when a stroke happens. Your vision may be blurred if the part of the brain that controls visual is affected by stroke.

If you have never suffered from a stroke and your blurry eyesight is accompanied with dizziness, slurred speech, and loss of balance, get somebody to bring you to the hospital immediately.

2. Signs of Diabetes

If your sometimes-blurred vision worsens over time, it could be a sign of diabetes. High levels of blood sugar due to diabetes can cause the macula (central part of the retina) to swell, which can cause temporary vision blurring. If left untreated, it can cause diabetic retinopathy; blindness due to high sugar levels that destroy the tiny blood vessels at the macula.

3. Early stages of Dry or Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet Macular Degeneration is a chronic vision disorder that causes the central part of your vision to be blurred or blinded. At times, straight lines might appear wavy. It is usually caused by an abnormal leakage of fluid or blood at the macula.

Dry Macular Degeneration has similar symptoms, but it is due to the thinning of the macula. It occurs more frequently to people aged 50 and above and is often known as Age-Related Macular Degeneration or AMD.

4. Are you pregnant?

Not all pregnant women experience blurred vision, but some do. It could be caused by hormonal changes that alter the shape and thickness of your cornea - the same reason why some pregnant women experience changes in other parts of the body.

However, it could also be a sign of Preeclampsia, a condition where the blood pressure goes higher than 140/90mm Hg upon reaching the 20th week of pregnancy. There are usually symptoms like shortness of breath, continuous headaches, nausea (after the first trimester) and palpitations too. If you experience these signs, see your doctor right away.

5. It could be Cataracts

If your vision starts getting milky or cloudy, there is a high chance it is due to cataracts. Most people will experience cataracts, and it is said to be part and parcel of aging. Cataracts are painless, but it will slowly progress throughout the lens of the eye, blocking light and making what you see blurry. Though deemed as a normal occurrence, cataracts must be treated or it might worsen to the point where it causes blindness.

6. Glaucoma

The cause of glaucoma is associated with abnormally high pressure in the eye. It is what doctors call ocular hypertension. This pressure causes the optic nerve, that channel that communicates what you see to the brain, to be damaged. There are many types of glaucoma, some with no symptoms at all. However, if you have blurry vision along with visions of circling light (sometimes rainbows), it could be a sign of glaucoma.

You are advised to see your doctor immediately if you presume that you have glaucoma. There are three options for treatment; medication, laser treatment or surgery. Starting treatment will prevent glaucoma from getting worse.

Taking supplements like Nature’s Farm®​ Mirtogenol®​ can also help reduce pressure on the eyes.

7. Common visual impairments

There are three common eye issues that can be easily ‘fixed’. They are shortsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism.

Myopia happens if the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved. The sharp image forms in front of the retina, making the image registered blurry.

Hyperopia happens if the eyeball is too short or the lens focus is too weak. The sharp image forms at the back of the retina, making the image registered on your retina, blurry.

Astigmatism happens when there is an imperfection on the cornea. It causes the light that comes through the cornea to be a little distorted. Therefore, some parts of the image formed on the retina may be blurry.

Visit your optometrist to get an eye exam and a lens prescription.

8. Tired / Dry Eyes

If you spend many hours in front of the screen or focused on a visual task, your eyes may experience eye fatigue. Suddenly, your eyes encounter difficulty focusing on words or details you are working on. Situations may be worse if you tend to have dry eyes, a condition where your eyes produce insufficient tears. Having both together is the recipe for blurred vision and stinging or itchy eyes.

While eye drops may help temporarily, it is also crucial to look at your nutrition. Taking vitamin E and consuming more omega-3 fatty acids from fish can help improve dry eyes.

If you suffer from eye strains often, taking supplements that help to relieve strains through microcirculation like Nature’s Farm®​ Mirtogenol®​ can help.

Can a vitamin deficiency cause blurry vision?

The answer is a resounding YES.

A balanced diet keeps all the organic machinery in your body working at tip-top condition, including your eyes. 

One severe case was of a teenager whose picky eating habits starved his body of the nutrients needed, causing permanent blindness. His diet consisted of junk and processed food. At first, the patient complained about his fatigue. However, the link between his nutrition and eyesight was found after the loss of vision was permanent.

Though most of us consume more varied foods, keep in mind that vitamins fuel our sight and certain vitamin deficiencies can cause blurred vision.

Other than vitamins, dehydration can also cause vision impairment. The eye is made up of 98% water. If dehydration occurs, your body goes into water preservation mode. The liquids that form the eyes and tears will start to dry up - this causes dry eyes which will then cause blurry vision.

What are the best vitamins for eyesight?

Let’s have a look at the vitamins that play a key role when it comes to eyesight.

1. Vitamin D

There has been a study relating to the consumption of vitamin D and protection against age-related macular degeneration (as mentioned above). Aside from the prevention of AMD, the lack of vitamin D has also been related to dry eyes.

Known to be anti-inflammatory, vitamin D supplementation can promote tear secretion, reduce tear instability and help reduce inflammation on the surface of the eye. It is known to be a useful treatment for people who suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome (DES).

To get your dose of vitamin D, head outside to get some sunlight (with UV protection, of course). Just ten minutes out and about in the sun several times a week would give you sufficient amounts of vitamin D. 

Choose to incorporate vitamin D into your diet as well. Egg yolks, cheese, mushrooms and oily fish like salmon are high in vitamin D.

2. Vitamin A

We’ve all heard our parents talk about how carrots are good for the eyes. But, is it true? Or just a bluff to get us to eat our vegetables?

Based on many scientific studies, it seems that beta-carotenoids (a type of vitamin A) present in carrots do help protect our vision. There are two types of vitamin A, retinol (found in milk and beef) and beta-carotene (found in carrots, spinach and kale), both of which are great for the eyes.

Vitamin A helps maintain the cornea, keeping it clear and lubricated. When this outer layer of the eye is healthy, it can effectively guard our eyes against bacteria and viruses.

Vitamin A is also a part of a light-sensitive receptor protein called rhodopsin that helps you see better in low light conditions.

A recent study conducted by Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that consuming a combination of supplements containing vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper at above recommended daily doses reduced the development of advanced AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) by 25%.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerhouse vitamin our body is dependent on - that includes our eyes. According to a study by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University published in the Journal of Neuroscience, two parts of the eye relies on high amounts of vitamin C.

One is the nerve cells behind the retina that sends our visual messages to the brain, and the second is the retina, where the light receptors lie. 

Oxidative damage is one of the key factors of age-related cataracts. Therefore the use of vitamin C, an antioxidant, for a longitudinal study was done in 2016 to track 1,000 pairs of female twins with cataracts. Their vitamin C intake, along with other nutrients, were tracked over ten years. At the end of the study, 324 pairs of twins were reexamined. Those who consumed more vitamin C showed a 33% reduction of cataract progression risk.

If you are looking to boost your vitamin C intake, consider eating citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes and berries.

4. Vitamin E

You probably realise now that a concoction of vitamins is needed for your eyes to work well. As much as we need vitamins A, C and D, we also need vitamin E. Alpha-tocopherol is a type of vitamin E with powerful antioxidant properties. It helps fight free radical damage that can cause cataracts. These unstable molecules floating in the eye can break down healthy eye tissue. Vitamin E prevents that by binding to these unstable molecules first!

Vitamin E is abundant in avocado, peanut butter, nuts and spinach.

Eye vitamins for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Based on the list of vitamins above, we know that vitamins play a crucial role in eye health. It aids in the prevention and acts as some sort of a remedy.

First of all, you will need to check with an ophthalmologist concerning the condition of your eye health. If you have AMD, you’ll need to seek advice if vitamins in the form of supplements will help improve it.

Remember that vitamins are not a cure-all. With age, our bodies find it a little more difficult to absorb and use what is consumed. However, taking it in the right doses may prevent the conditions from getting worse.

According to ARED 2 (Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2), consuming vitamins that are essential for eye health helped people who have lost a lot of vision in at least one eye due to AMD. It is a step taken to prevent the condition from getting worse.

The list below was what was prescribed:

  • Vitamin C (500 mg)
  • Vitamin E (400 IU)
  • Lutein (10 mg)
  • Zeaxanthin (2 mg)
  • Zinc (80 mg)
  • Copper (2 mg)

If you do not have AMD, you could cultivate a good habit of eating a balanced diet that consists of leafy greens, fruits, and dairy.

Are eye vitamins worth taking?

If you do not have AMD, but you have a hunch that you are not taking enough nutrients that your body needs, which may be due to a particular allergy or diet preference, it is safe to say that eye vitamins are worth taking. However, it is not necessary if you are making an effort to consume nutritional food that contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals.

The opposite rings true for those who are already suffering from AMD. While studies are not conclusive that vitamins will help improve AMD conditions or prevent it from getting worse, AREDS found that those who were diagnosed with early AMD were 25-30% less likely to develop advanced AMD. There is a chance that supplements can improve the condition.

Final words

Enduring degenerative eye conditions can be crippling and depressing. It is time to put eye health at the forefront of your healthcare. If you are experiencing mild visual conditions such as cornea tears or infections, get it checked out by your ophthalmologist. Our eyes are very delicate organs wrapped by thin layers of skin. If you experience dry eyes or eye strains often, it is a sign that you should also look after your eye health by noticing the symptoms and taking vitamin supplements to strengthen them. One supplement you could try is Nature's Farm®​ Mirtogenol®​ made from a combination of standardised bilberry extract and pine bark extract Pycnogenol​®​.

References

Lowvisionmd.org. 2020. What's The Difference Between Wet And Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration? | Low Vision Specialists. [online] Available at: <https://lowvisionmd.org/whats-the-difference-between-wet-and-dry-age-related-macular-degeneration/> [Accessed 22 June 2020].

ScienceDaily. 2020. Poor Diet Can Lead To Blindness, Case Study Shows. [online] Available at: <https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190903091437.htm> [Accessed 22 June 2020].

Bae, S., Shin, Y., Kim, H., Hyon, J., Wee, W. and Park, S., 2016. Vitamin D Supplementation for Patients with Dry Eye Syndrome Refractory to Conventional Treatment. Scientific Reports, [online] 6(1). Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5048427/> [Accessed 22 June 2020].

 Aoa.org. 2020. Emerging Research. [online] Available at: <https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/vitamin-d> [Accessed 22 June 2020]

Johnson, E. and Rasmussen, H., 2013. Nutrients for the aging eye. Clinical Interventions in Aging, [online] p.741. Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693724/> [Accessed 22 June 2020]..

ScienceDaily. 2020. Scientists Discover New Role For Vitamin C In The Eye And The Brain. [online] Available at: <https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110715135353.htm> [Accessed 22 June 2020].

RNIB - See differently. 2020. Nutritional Supplements For Age-Related Macular Degeneration. [online] Available at: <https://www.rnib.org.uk/eye-health-eye-conditions-age-related-macular-degeneration-amd/nutritional-supplements-age-related> [Accessed 22 June 2020].

Nei.nih.gov. 2020. Glaucoma | National Eye Institute. [online] Available at: <https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/glaucoma> [Accessed 22 June 2020].

American Academy of Ophthalmology. 2020. Vitamins For AMD. [online] Available at: <https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/vitamins-amd> [Accessed 22 June 2020].
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