Your mother was right: carrots are great for your eyes!


Your mother may have told you to eat carrots because they are good for your eyes. Well, mom was right! The medical literature contains more and more evidence that taking antioxidant vitamins and certain minerals can help to keep your eyes healthy. Let's discuss how...

Dry Eyes

Many people suffer from dry eyes because we live in a desert environment with low humidity. Poor air quality due to smog, pollutants, etc. also contributes to dry eye symptoms such as contact lens irritation, burning, redness, grittiness, and reflexive tearing (in response to dry eyes).

As the oily layer of the tears thins, the rest of your tears evaporate more quickly. Applying artificial tears only provides temporary relief. You can augment the lipid tear layer by consuming nutrients with omega-6 fatty acids found in plant oil extracts of borage, flaxseed, evening primrose, or black currant seed. Vitamins B6 and C improve the utilization of these fatty acids.

Potassium, found in bananas and potatoes, can also increase the thickness of your tears. Beta-carotene, found in orange-colored fruits and vegetables, encourages secretion of the mucus tear layer.

Macular Degeneration

Risk factors for macular degeneration include smoking, light colored eyes, UV exposure, age, and to some extent genetics.

Recent studies suggests that 400mg of magnesium and lutein (a xanthophylls plant pigment in the carotenoid family) capsules per day helps to stop the progression of dry macular degeneration. Lutein is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens. Anti-oxidant vitamins: A, C, and E may also retard this disease.

Night Vision

Smoking may decrease your ability to see in dim light; therefore, it is especially important for smokers to increase their consumption of orange-colored fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, cantaloupe, and squash. These foods contain beta-carotene, which help maintain night vision by keeping the rod receptors healthy.

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

Blood sugar control is the primary way to control DR; however, the medical literature suggests that magnesium, vitamin C, and anthocyanin bioflavonoids (ginkgo biloba, bilberry, grape seed, cranberry and pink bark extracts) may play a preventative role in DR. Vitamin C and the bioflavonoids strengthen weak capillaries and minimize histamine release. The above supplements are often prescribed in Europe to slow down the progression of DR.

Protection from Bright Light

High quality sunglasses, or glasses with 100% ultraviolet and/or infrared protection are the best protection for your eyes. Taking lutein supplements, and foods rich in lutein such as spinach, can also help protect the eyes from damage, which results from frequent exposure to bright lights.

Healthy Diet and Lifestyle...

A well-rounded diet is important for our eyes and our overall health. Surprisingly, only 12 percent of American adults consume the recommended amount of fresh fruits and vegetables!  Healthy living also includes regular exercise and relaxation. Annual eye health exams, and physicals are part of preventive care to help keep you feeling your best