Your eyes are your window to the world. They help you explore new places and engage with loved ones. Unfortunately, problems like glaucoma and macular degeneration can worsen your vision over time. Medical conditions like diabetes can also threaten your vision.
Fortunately, there are natural ways to support the health of your eyes now to help prevent problems later on down the road. These natural supplements can really make a difference in the health and function of the entire eye, which has several parts, including the retina, optic nerve and and cornea.
The first supplement we'll take a look at is bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.). Bilberry is a type of plant whose leaves and berries are used for medicinal purposes. Bilberry became noted for its vision benefits during World War II, when pilots consumed bilberry jam to help their vision at night get better. It's still taken to keep the vision sharp in the dark and also for cataracts and other issues with the retina.
A 2010 study published in the medical journal Phytotherapy research found bilberry extract showed potential in supporting the epithelial cells of the cornea, specifically.
The second supplement worth trying is lutein. Lutein is a powerful antioxidant found within certain foods that provides carotenoids. These compounds help protect the eyes from the oxidative stress and damage that can be caused by free radicals, which are a byproduct of energy production and can be found throughout the body. Lutein can also help protect the eyes from the sun's damaging UV rays.
A 12-week study published in 2009 in The British journal of nutrition found consuming lutein regularly improved the vision of otherwise healthy subjects who spent considerable time in front of a computer.
Vitamins A, C and E
Third on the list are these three essential vitamins the body needs on a daily basis. Vitamins A, C and E all support the structure of the body's tissues, which includes the skin and eyes. These vitamins promote wound healing after injury and also function as potent antioxidants to fight back against those damaging free radicals. Vitamin A, in particular, is beneficial for night vision, allowing you to see clearly in changing light conditions. As a side bonus, they also strengthen the immune system.
Last but certainly not least, eyebright (Euphrasia rostkoviana Hayne) has been a favorite in Europe for promoting eye health for centuries. If you suffer from dry, itchy or red eyes due to prolonged computer use or allergies, this is the supplement for you. It also reduces inflammation in eyes that are irritated. Take it daily to feel more comfortable all day long.
A 2000 study published in The journal of alternative and complimentary medicine supported this benefit, concluding eye drops with eyebright effectively reduced symptoms of irritation and inflammation.
As with all supplements, check with your physician before adding a supplement to your routine if you're currently being treated for an eye issue or any other medical condition, or if you're pregnant, breastfeeding or take over-the-counter (OTC) medications regularly.
You can find these supplements for your eye health and more at eVitamins. Let us know how they work for you!
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