Nourishment for the eye

Eyes are subject to daily stress – hours spent working in front of a screen, dry heat or cold draughts put a severe strain on them. Age, too, does not pass by without leaving its mark. To maintain eyesight long term, the eyes require special care – vitamins are helpful in this regard.

Right from a young age, a healthy balanced diet is advisable to ensure the eyes get an optimal supply of vitamins, trace elements and minerals. Vitamins A, C and E in particular improve visual comfort through improved blood flow, sharper vision or bright-dark adjustment. They can also be useful in combating age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts.

Retinol and beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) are involved in signal transmission during the visual process and are important for cell growth. Beta-carotene is found especially in carrots as well as in most yellow-orange and green fruit and vegetables, such as green cabbage, spinach, broccoli, lamb's lettuce, paprika or apricots. Retinol (vitamin A1) is most notably present in animal foodstuffs such as liver, fish, dairy products and eggs.  If the body is not supplied with sufficient vitamin A, this can result in dry eyes and night blindness.

Everyday burdens such as light, stress and various environmental factors give rise to free radicals which the body's cells attack. Vitamins B2, C and E protect the eyes by capturing and neutralising free radicals. Good sources of vitamin C are most notably currants, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, pickled cabbage, paprika, broccoli, white cabbage and tomatoes. Vitamin E is to be found especially in vegetable oils, nuts, cereals, soya, milk, asparagus and curly kale.

Too low a concentration of these vitamins in the eyes can give rise to opacity of the eye lens and hence cataracts as age advances. Furthermore, macular-specific vitamins such as the carotinoids lutein and zeaxanthin protect the eye against harmful UV light and thus prevent diseases such as macular degeneration.

With advancing age as well as with illnesses like diabetes, there is an increased risk of the occurrence of eye diseases like macular degeneration, cataracts or diabetic retinopathy. Should a customer with age-related diabetes request further advice on how to strengthen the eyes, advise the customer to focus on eating a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins. Equally important is an adequate intake of fluids to keep the blood vessels optimally supplied.

Customers who are often subjected to cigarette smoke or radiation from monitors should also be advised to increase the intake of vitamins via their diet. Otherwise such burdens lead to dry and irritated eyes.

Regular checking of the eyesight should accordingly go hand in hand with a healthy, balanced diet that guarantees a regular intake of vitamins. In this way, the eyesight can be maintained long term or strengthened – whether young or old.